Trump hit on all sides this week

Another busy week. Long post!

Seems like every day there is a major news item. You would figure that Donald Trump would learn to keep quiet and maybe not do anything. Instead he has an interview with a “fake news” organization and then hires someone without telling his top aides.

Today, White House Press Secretary and quasi Communication Director, Sean “Garlic” Spicer, has resigned.

After Donald Trump decided to hire Anthony Scaramucci as the new White house Communication Director, this cut into Spicer’s job and coupled with others issues, he decided to resign. Trump didn’t even notify chief strategist Steve Bannon or White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus of the decision. Maybe they’re out next?

Spicer has been unhappy. Among other things, he was getting some flak from Trump [not surprised there] but also wasn’t invited on various trips including The Vatican [where he really wanted to go] and France. But he has been the subject of various media attacks including the Saturday Night Live skits. He also didn’t have a good start as Press Secretary when he over-inflated the crowd size of trump inauguration.

Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, who has been doing most of the press briefing, has said she doesn’t want to be Press Secretary. White House staffers are said to be shocked. But looks like she has it for now.

Trump asked Spicer to stay on in another capacity but Spicer declined. However, he will help in the transition.

Big question: What will Melissa McCarthy do now? 🙂

Scaramucci is a New York financier and former Trump campaign fundraiser with little to no experience in Washington politics or as a communication director. Trump likes him because he’s fiercely loyal and likes to attack opponents. During the presidential campaign two years ago, Anthony Scaramucci called President Trump “another hack politician” who is “anti-American.” He is also known to say to Trump that “He’s got a big mouth” and that Trump is “probably going to make Elizabeth Warren [a Democrat] his vice presidential nominee.”

Russia’s ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak, told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, twice with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, according to current and former U.S. officials. Sessions was then a top foreign policy adviser to candidate Trump.

Trump said that he would not have chosen Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general had he known Sessions would recuse himself over matters related to the 2016 presidential campaign. Sessions was one of his earliest political allies. Is this a no confidence vote? Trump scolded Sessions for telling the Senate judiciary committee that he had not met with any Russians during the campaign. It was later revealed he had met with Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US, at least two times. So Sessions should of lied.

This past Thursday marked 6 months for Trump as dictator or ruler or “fake president”. In that time…

  • He made 397 comments that were not completely or partially true. In the average of polls, his approval rating is a low 38% and just 50% in counties he won in the election.
  • 42 bills were signed into law – none of them big – and no major piece of legislation signed into law.
  • In addition he had 5 campaign style rallies [all in states where he won in 2016] and just one solo news conference. In comparison Barrack Obama had 11 in the first 6 months.  George W. Bush had 5. He has visited 16 states [as well as DC], most to visit his properties and all east of the Mississippi.
  • Not one mile of the wall between the US and Mexico has been built. Nothing may happen until early next year at the earliest.
  • Trump spent 40 days on Trump properties including 21 of 26 weekends. He claimed in 2012 that the Obamas gone on vacation 16 times in 3 years.
  • He pulled the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership – the only one of 21 campaign promises he kept. He also pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord [although some hints he may flip flop on this].
  • He has 1003 tweets of which former President Barack Obama has been named 36 times. “Obamacare” has featured in 45 posts. As well, “fake” news, media or stories have been mentioned 82 times. Hillary Clinton was mentioned in 22 tweets [mostly early o] and “jobs” have shown up on 46 times.

Trump’s signature campaign promise to repeal and replace Affordable Care Act came to a massive halt after Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas came together to announce that they won’t support the bill. Trump tweeted that Republicans should come together to pass a full repeal and worry about crafting a replacement with Democrats later. “Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!” he tweeted. If they can’t pass the current bill, forget about repealing.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would be to vote on a bill to simply repeal Obamacare with a two-year delay. That won’t fly either. It is also expected that in 2 years, there could/should be less Republicans in congress.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Susan Collins of Maine announced that they could not support any plan that would roll back significant parts of Obamacare without a replacement plan in place. This kills McConnell’s plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He still wants to hold a repeal-only vote “in the very near future.”

White House [deputy] press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the White House’s message to Congress is “do their job.” Aren’t they already?

Trump said that his new plan is to “let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats are going to come to us.” Sure Donnie.

Of the 21 promises by Trump during the campaign, the only one to be completed is to withdrawal from TPP and that needed just an executive order.

‘We’ll let Obamacare fail’ Trump said after the health care bill was defeated [again]. But according to a recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, experts say the market has been on the mend this year. Many insurers stemmed the bleeding in early 2017 and some are on the path to profitability. The expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults is working well in the 31 states that chose to expand, extending coverage to roughly 11 million people. It could fail in rural areas [where Trump did well in the last election] which typically mean that all insurers pull out, leaving consumers who buy their own policies with no choice of subsidized coverage on the Obamacare exchange — or in some cases, any individual market coverage at all.

Trump asked Republican senators not to leave town for their August recess without passing a health care reform plan that makes good on seven years of promises to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Trump’s position is also at odds with comments he made over the last 72 hours, when he publicly pushed to let Obamacare fail and to repeal it without a replacement plan. Meanwhile Trump may still take his time off… to golf.

A super PAC tied to Trump ran ads against Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada who is up for re-election in 2018 and voted against the health care reform. After the Heller had a friendly exchange, Trump said, “Look, he wants to remain a senator, doesn’t he?”

While Republican Senator John McCain recovers from serious surgery, the vote for the revised health care bill was put on hold [and eventually canceled]. Although he isn’t a fan of Trump he would of voted for the bill.

Senator John McCain is in a hospital after it was revealed that a blood clot near one of his eyes revealed that he has brain cancer. He will be sidelined for a while and with this type of cancer and at his age, it doesn’t look good in the long term. It also doesn’t look good on Trump either. While McCain was a very vocal critic of Trump [especially after Trump’s comments about McCain’s time in Vietnam] he did vote in favor of Trump’s health care bill.

But without McCain, there are 99 senators in which 51 are Republican. The previous legislation that went to the Senate [such as the health care bill] failed because at least 3 Republican senators voted against the legislation – which means the legislation would fail even with Mike Pence’s tie breaker vote. Now with one less Republican [until McCain either comes back or resigns and a special election is called], if at least 2 Republicans vote against, legislation dies.

Trump aides Marc Short and Brian Blase argued that Americans and lawmakers should give “little weight” to CBO projections that millions would lose coverage under the Senate GOP bill. “The CBO’s methodology, which favors mandates over choice and competition, is fundamentally flawed.” They have to blame someone when their facts aren’t proven right.

At closed door meetings with GOP and then all governors at the National Governors Association, Vice President Mike Pence, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma didn’t come away too happy. Their efforts left major questions unanswered, Republican and Democratic governors said. They urged governors to ignore Congressional Budget Office estimates that 15 million fewer people would be covered by Medicaid by 2026 and that $772 billion would be cut from the program, compared to current law. [BTW, at the same conference, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau became the first foreign leader to speak at the NGA conferences and walked away with a standing ovation.]

It was disclosed that Trump and an undisclosed [until now] second meeting with Vladimir Poutine at the G20. A senior White House said the discussion was “nearly an hour” but another said it was brief [not an hour]. Another one said it was a very long time. Trump spoke with Putin through Russia’s translator. The US translator at the dinner spoke Japanese, as Trump was sitting next to the Japanese. The White House statement said the conversation took place in full view of other world leaders and said Trump went over to his wife and spoke with Putin near the dinner’s end.

The lack of a US translator or other support meant the US would be without a scrupulous translation or a record of what was discussed. Since Trump didn’t bring a US translator and relied on Putin’s, a senator called it a “basic failure in terms of national security protocol.”

From a previous post, Trump did not have his Russian interpreter when he had his second chat with Vladimir Poutine at the G20 conference dinner. That was because each leader was granted just one translator at the dinner and he chose a Japanese interpreter as he was sitting next to the Japanese Prime Minister’s wife. Turns out the interpreter wasn’t used much as she didn’t want to chat with Trump – almost implying that she spoke no English. In fact she is fluent in English.

Trump suggested it would be wrong for Robert Mueller to investigate his family’s finances and said it would cross a line. He would not say what action, if any, he would take. “I think that’s a violation,” Trump said. “Look, this is about Russia.” Unless he has dealings in Russia which he has denied.

The Washington Post reported in June that Mueller was also investigating if Trump had obstructed justice. “I don’t think we’re under investigation,” Trump said. “I’m not under investigation. For what? I didn’t do anything wrong.” As a legal expert [sarcastically], does he knows what obstruction of justice means?

Trump’s legal team was trying to find ways to undercut Mueller’s role by amassing allegations of conflicts of interest against him.

The same team is exploring how Trump can use his pardoning powers. That include pardoning family, cabinet members and even himself before any charges are brought against them related to the Russian probe. [President Ford pardoned President Nixon before he was actually charged but they knew he would be charged.] Experts say it would be legal to pardon his family [but still not quite Kosher] and cabinet members and others but pardoning himself may or may not be quite legal. In addition, unsure how Congress would react.

Why would you pardon something if they haven’t done anything wrong? If, for example, Trump claims he has no dealings or properties in Russia, why pardon? [He recently hinted that he may have – he isn’t sure or doesn’t really know.]

The House Republicans are unveiling a budget resolution that would dramatically reshape the federal government, requiring more than $200 billion in cuts to mandatory programs and set the path for a major overhaul of the tax code. The conservative House Freedom Caucus continue to call for more sweeping spending cuts. Without them, the budget would fail.

After the mess with Trump Jr., Democrats are seeking to have Jared Kushner’s security clearance revoked. This would effectively have him removed from the White House. Kushner had to revise his security clearance form at least twice [at least 100 foreigners added to the form compared to the original version] and failed to disclose exactly how many people attended that meeting over a year ago with a Russian lawyer.

Most agree that if you are offered information about an opponent from another American, it may be at most unethical. If offered from a “friendly” contact [such as from the UK or France] it is probably unethical. But to get information from a country that isn’t friendly is an issue.

The eighth person to attend the Trump Jr meeting has been identified as US citizen Ike Kaveladze, a senior vice president at the company founded by the Russian oligarch who initiated the meeting. Kaveladze was asked to go to the meeting at Trump Tower last June with the understanding he would be Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya’s translator because she didn’t speak English, but she brought one. Kaveladze has been tied to a money laundering probe.

Trump’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow suggested that the United States Secret Service may bear some responsibility for allowing Donald Trump Jr. to meet with a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign. The secret service is there to protect Trump and family. Not to tell them who they can or can’t see. They are not people who you can ask legal questions. Just another blame game.

Marc Kasowitz, Trump’s longtime personal attorney who has been the lead lawyer on the Russia investigation, will see his role recede. John Dowd, the attorney defending Trump in the Mueller investigation, along with Jay Sekulow, will now be the President’s primary personal attorneys for the investigation. The spokesman for Trump’s legal team, Mark Corallo, resigned.

There was still more news [although not as critical]. Will probably send it off after the weekend.

 

Trump Jr now in the spotlight

Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort had a meeting with a Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya [who has ties with the Kremlin] just over a year ago. Now it has been learned that there were others. A Russian-American lobbyist named Rinat Akhmetshin said he also attended the June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr as well as publicist Rob Goldstone, who helped set up the meeting. Now were are told there are 2 others.

According to lobbying records, Akhmetshin is a registered lobbyist for Veselnitskaya’s organization, which has focused on lobbying Washington to overturn the Magnitsky sanctions. Akhmetshin denied that he was ever an intelligence agent but said he did serve two years in a Soviet military unit that handled counter-intelligence. Sounds like an intelligence agent to me. [The Magnitsky Act allows the US to withhold visas and freeze the assets of Russians thought to have violated human rights.]

Was Trump Jr. hiding this? How can he forget?

Seems one day earlier when this issue came out, a statement from Donald Trump Jr. made no mention of Hillary Clinton. In his initial depiction of the meeting last June, the president’s son said the discussion focused on a disbanded program that used to allow American adoptions of Russian children. [In retaliation for some financial sanctions, the Russians put a freeze of adoptions of Russian children by Americans.] He had a meeting with a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign occurred at the behest of a Moscow-based singer with family ties to Trump’s businesses, according to a participant in the talks. Reports say that Trump Jr. was told ahead of time that the source of the information was the Russian government.

When the attorney has negative information about Clinton that is part of the Russian government’s efforts to help Trump in the campaign. The then-candidate’s son responds: “I love it.” This new setback raises new questions about whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Moscow during the election, a charge the president has denied for months.

Trump Jr. released an email chain that shows him discussing plans to hear damaging information on Clinton that were described as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” This was before the meeting at Trump Tower with Veselnitskaya. The emails with music publicist Rob Goldstone show that Trump Jr. was told that the Russian government had information about purported illegal campaign contributions to the Democratic National Committee.

But he decided that her information was most likely bogus and she just wanted to contact his father. This was just after Donald Trump clinched the nomination.

In a statement, Trump Jr.’s New York-based attorney Alan Futerfas called the Times report “much ado about nothing.”

Veselnitskaya stated in an interview with NBC that she had no information about Clinton. Veselnitskaya said she received a phone call from a man she didn’t know and was told to meet with Trump Jr.

Vladimir Poutine’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that the Kremlin is unaware of a meeting between Trump’s senior staff and a Russian lawyer, that it doesn’t know who Kremlin-linked lawyer Veselnitskaya is. Veselnitskaya’s clients include state-owned businesses and the son of a senior government official whose company was under investigation in the United States at the time of the meeting.

This all started because Kushner filed a revised version of a form needed to obtain a security clearance. His attorney has previously acknowledged that Kushner’s first security clearance submission was incomplete. Kushner supplemented the list of foreign contacts three times, adding more than 100 names, people close to him said. Kushner played down the significance of the meeting and omitted significant details, according to two people who were briefed on the exchange.

Over the last few days, members of the pro-Trump media have settled on their answer, characterizing the lawyer, Veselnitskaya, as a leftist with ties to the Obama administration. She part of a sinister Democratic plot to entrap the Trump campaign. Of course this was started more than a few days after this story broke. So the pro-Trump media is inventing ways to try and quash the story and came up with this one. Of course only the right will believe it and expect Trump to tweet it. Even Republican [and anti-Trump] John McCain is in on it. I guess anyone – Democrats or Republicans will be a target.

Senator Tim Kaine, said Donald Trump Jr. may have committed treason when he agreed to meet with a Russian lawyer under the pretense of getting dirt on Clinton. “We are now beyond obstruction of justice. This is moving into perjury, false statements and even potentially treason.” Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and not a fan of Trump, said any time you’re in a campaign and you get an offer from a foreign government the answer is “no.”

The chief ethics lawyer to George W. Bush, Richard Painter, also likened it to treason. Barack Obama’s White House counsel, Bob Bauer, said it’s illegal to assist foreign nationals seeking to influence a federal election, illegal to solicit their help, and illegal to co-ordinate with them.

Trump has questioned the quality of advice he has received from senior staff, including chief of staff Reince Priebus. There has also been a difference of opinion within the West Wing as to how to handle the crisis, with some aides favoring more transparency than others. Some of the unhappiness centers on Trump’s legal team, which is led by New York attorney Marc Kasowitz.

Trump blasted the current Russia controversy as “the greatest witch hunt in political history” while defending his son as being “open, transparent and innocent” during his interview with Fox News [where else?]. Trump later lashed out against Hillary Clinton, charging her with unspecified wrongdoings. “Why aren’t the same standards placed on the Democrats. Look what Hillary Clinton may have gotten away with. Disgraceful!” he tweeted.

Trump said he had not been told last summer that his son was meeting with a Russian lawyer. “No, that I didn’t know until a couple of days ago when I heard about this,” he said.

Former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and several of her Democratic colleagues called for Jared Kushner’s security clearance to be revoked “immediately,” saying that he “clearly participated in collusion.” – let alone forgetting information on his SF-86 security clearance form. Except for the fact that he supposedly left the meeting early, Kushner also should of known better and not attend the meeting. It remains unclear whether Kushner was briefed before the sit-down with Veselnitskaya. Kushner had previously undisclosed calls to Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak and undisclosed meetings with Kislyak and the CEO of Vnesheconombank, a state-run Russian bank under US sanctions.

Here’s another thought: you are the son of the presidential nominee. If someone wants to meet you during an election campaign – whether foreign or not – you can almost assume that the meeting isn’t to discuss sports. Trump Jr. was a fool to personally attend such a meeting. Other campaigns would have used surrogates.

“It’s an honor to meet you” is what Trump said to Putin at the G20 meeting . Ya. Right.

Trump initially said there would be some type of cyber security deal with the Russians which surprised even people within the Republican Party. But later on backtracked said there was no deal – more like preliminary talks. This after most in the US believe the Russians tinkered with last year’s election.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida tweeted: “Partnering with Putin on a ‘Cyber Security Unit’ is akin to partnering with Assad on a ‘Chemical Weapons Unit'”.

On a 30 hour trip to France, Trump said the French President’s wife “You’re in such good shape. She’s in such good physical shape. Beautiful.” This in front of his own wife. Wonder what she was thinking. She’s 64. Media is calling it sexist.

Trump Jr. tweeted a video of a doctored clip of the 1986 military thriller “Top Gun”. In it, President Donald Trump’s face is superimposed over Tom Cruise’s character as he shoots down a Russian jet with a CNN logo on it. Trump is seen in the clip repeating his “you’re fired” catchphrase before launching a missile.

CNN said that it has confirmed the real and online identities of the individual behind the original CNN video shared by Trump. CNN also found a slew of racist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic posts from the same user. CNN says it spoke to the video creator by phone after the apology was posted. CNN left the door open to identifying the user in the future, should he go back to his “trolling” ways. Donald Trump Jr equates that to blackmail and somehow knows that the video creator is 15 years old. Maybe he or someone near his father hired the author?

In adding further sanctions against Russia and Iran, a bill has been stalled. The bill would require a congressional review if Trump attempts to ease or end penalties against Moscow. I would guess this would have to be related to Trump’s suspected ties with Russia. Officials from the Treasury and State departments said the provision would infringe on the president’s executive authority.

Trump tweeted that sanctions against Russia at the G20 meetings were not discussed at his meeting with Putin. But White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders contradicted Trump, telling reporters a day later that “sanctions specific to election-meddling were discussed” in the meeting.

Trump on Twitter claimed that the White House “is functioning perfectly” and claiming that “I have very little time for watching T.V.” Yes, at least 10 of the Trump’s tweets since Monday have been about TV shows or links to videos from the Fox News Channel.

The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University are suing Trump, saying some of his critics have been unconstitutionally blocked from following him on Twitter by asking a judge to stop Trump and his media team from blocking critics from following his personal account.

In another no-brainer, Trump tweeted that he is “working hard to get the Olympics for the United States.” He was pushing for Los Angeles bid. Unsure why. The IOC will choose one city for 2024 and another for 2028 – and there are just 2 cities left: Paris and Los Angeles. So what is there to “work hard” for?

Hackers breached the systems used by 14 different Trump Hotels properties between August 10, 2016 and March 9, 2017, managing to steal sensitive information like guests’ credit card details and other personal information. Trump Hotels informed customers that hackers managed to breach the systems of Sabre Hospitality Solutions (Sabre) and not its own systems, though it confirms that personal information has been exposed.

The Trump administration removed Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab from two lists of approved vendors used by government agencies to purchase technology equipment, amid concerns the cyber security firm’s products could be used by the Kremlin to gain entry into U.S. networks. The action was taken “after review and careful consideration.” Government agencies will still be able to use Kaspersky products purchased separate from the GSA contract process.

Last month the Senate Armed Services Committee passed a defense spending policy bill that would ban Kaspersky products from use in the military. The move came a day after the FBI interviewed several of the company’s U.S. employees at their private homes as part of a counterintelligence investigation into its operations.

A Bloomberg Businessweek article claims Kaspersky Lab can “quietly embed the software in everything from firewalls to sensitive telecommunications equipment-none of which carry the Kaspersky name,” going on to say that it does much work at the behest of the FSB, which is the successor to the KGB in the Russian spy world. Kaspersky vehemently denied the accusations. Bloomberg even claimed Kaspersky Lab’s chief legal officer was a KGB officer when he actually worked for the Border Service.

The Director of National Intelligence and the heads of the CIA, NSA, FBI, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency unanimously told the Senate Intelligence Committee they wouldn’t trust, or use, Kaspersky software in their work.

The Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak, at the center of a political firestorm over his encounters with associates of President Donald Trump, is leaving his post — but Russia says the move is not unexpected.
An author released a book called “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Presidents From Wilson to Obama”. I’m wondering if the author can do a separate book just on Trump.

 

A bit quieter for Trump, well almost

Well, with the July 4th celebrations and the G20 meetings, Donald Trump didn’t get into much trouble this week. Too busy to tweet or say something undiplomatic. Well, he did make some comments….

Trump posted to Twitter a doctored video clip that showed him slamming a man — with “CNN” superimposed on his head — to the ground. In the video [originally recorded in 2007], Trump then throws punches at the man’s head, before walking away. Journalists are upset that this could promote violence against journalists.

Seems like some don’t think anything is wrong with his tweet. Homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said Trump was communicating directly in a “genuine”. way to Americans. Even though he initially looked shocked, Bossert said “I think that no one would perceive that as a threat.” But most congressmen didn’t like what was done.

Trump called his tweeting “Modern day presidential.”

CNN struck back at Trump, saying in a statement that Trump had engaged in “juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office” when he should have been preparing for an upcoming overseas trip.

“Mistakes have been made” by U.S. intelligence, said Trump. He is equating the weapons of mass destruction that were never found in Iraq almost 15 years ago [an argument is that they may have been moved while the US attacked Iraq]. And yet, while three intelligence services [including directors who he appointed] said there was the hack of Democratic Party email systems and attempted to influence the 2016 election to benefit Trump, he still doubts them. Again bashing the intelligence services that are protecting his country.

At least forty-one states have refused the Trump administration’s request for certain voter information. The information is for a commission to check into so-called voter fraud in November. State leaders and voting boards across the country have responded to the letter with varying degrees of cooperation — from altogether rejecting the request to expressing eagerness to supply information that is public. Some states would not provide birth dates or party affiliations. All wouldn’t provide Social Security numbers. Some flat out rejected the request saying to go to the states’ websites. Then Trump tweeted ” Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?”

Three state leaders also raised doubts about the integrity of the commission itself, and many questioned the existence of widespread voter fraud. “This entire commission is based on the specious and false notion that there was widespread voter fraud last November,” Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe “My reply would be: They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi is a great State to launch from,” said Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.

Going back to Trump going after the two co-hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Trump tweeted said she was “bleeding badly from a face-lift” when he saw them at his Florida estate. In fact Mika Brzezinski said she “she did have a little skin under her chin tweaked” but not a face-lift. Who walks around bleeding?

She said the two and Trump were close up until about 2 years ago. Now Brzezinski in recent weeks has wondered whether Trump was mentally ill and said the country under his presidency “does feel like a developing dictatorship.” “The guy who is in the White House now is not the guy we know,” co-host Joe Scarborough said.

Surprisingly, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said “Obviously I don’t see that as an appropriate comment [the one made by Trump].”

“Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses,” Trump said. [Trump probably couldn’t figure out how to spell Brzezinski’s name.]

Brzezinski said that “Melania’s got the worst job in the country” and was doing it for her young son which then Melania criticized the “Morning Joe” co-hosts for using her to “further their own agenda.”

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president was “pushing back against people who have attacked him day after day after day….” Ever heard of “two wrongs don’t make a right” and the White House is not a kindergarten! If he can’t accept criticism….

At a 136 minute chat at the G20 conference, Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, reportedly told Russian media that Putin denied interfering and Trump accepted his denial. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had a sharply different version of the conversation, saying the two countries could not come to an agreement on the issue. Lost in translation?

Interesting to note that in the “Class of G20” official picture, Trump was almost the farthest away from the center [President of France was at the edge]. Maybe the closest to center the longest you have been the country’s leader [except the host leader].

Even at the G20 summit just before his chat with Vladimir Poutine, Trump tweeted “Everyone here is talking about why John Podesta [former chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign] refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA. Disgraceful!” You think when he said “everyone” every leader was thinking of Podesta [- nope]. Another Trump exaggeration. As well, Podesta had no rights to the DNC server to begin with as he’s not in the DNC now. Finally, if the server was to be given it would be to the FBI. The CIA can’t investigate on US soil about US issues.

And even in front of the press with the Mexican President, Trump still believes Mexico will pay for the wall. Exactly how many miles of the wall has been built?

At a speech in Warsaw, Trump finally agreed with Article 5 of the NATO constitution which states that an attack on one NATO country is like an attack on any NATO country. This differs from his early weeks where he said some negative comments about NATO and not agreeing to Article 5. Yes. Another flip flop.

As well, Trump delivered a battle cry to defend Western civilization in Warsaw, but his political vision for the alliance in the West is one that few of its other major leaders would recognize, far less embrace. “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive,” Trump said, citing his host nation’s long battles against tyranny as an example of the tenacity needed to preserve Western values.

The spouses of the other G20 leaders toured a climate change center in Hamburg and took a river cruise [except Melania Trump who couldn’t get out of her hotel because of protests – unless the hubby told her the climate change center is bogus].

Attorneys general from 18 states and Washington D.C. sued Education Secretary Betsy DeVos after she delayed an Obama-era rule, the Borrower Defense to Repayment rule, which was created in 2016 and was set to take effect on July 1. But DeVos announced in June that she would delay its implementation. Instead, she directed her department to create committees to review and improve the rules.

Trump hired DeVos even though she had no experience in the management of education. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. She accused DeVos of “sid[ing] with for-profit school executives against students and families drowning in unaffordable student loans.”

“The assault on the automotive industry is over,” claimed Trump in a speech this week. Tell that to the soon to be unemployed Ford works [as I mentioned in a previous blog].

220,000 jobs were gained in June but the unemployment rate still ticked up. Trump claims that the economy is going up in “gangbusters”. 220,000 in a month isn’t that great. [For example, Canada can create 40,000 jobs a month and Canada is about one-eleventh the size of the US.] Also, no idea how many of those 220,000 are full-time jobs but did wages go up in general? No idea. Ironically that one in six new jobs was in health care.

If you noticed less foreign bands touring the US [and by extension in Canada], here is one reason why – a Trump executive order from March. In 2016, the US issued more than 63,800 “O” and “P” visas, which enable entertainers, athletes or people with extraordinary abilities in the sciences or business and those traveling with them to visit the US for short term performances as well as contractual employment. For March and April of this year [where the only months the State Department has released data for] the U.S issued only 697 of those visas. The monthly tallies for visas issued in the year 2016 were not available.]

Seen in a forum:

At the G20 meeting in Hamburg:

“Master Putin, how am I doing. Are you happy with my work?”

“Padawan Drumpf, you are doing an excellent job. Thank you for trying to hide Russia’s attack during the elections as well as the information about Clinton and the Democrats that we leaked.”

 

Trump attacks Obama, MSNBC co-hosts

“Well I just heard today for the first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election, and he did nothing about it,” Trump said in an excerpt of his interview on Fox News. “The CIA gave him information on Russia a long time before they even — before the election.”

The Washington Post reported the Obama administration’s efforts to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for trying to sway the presidential election in Trump’s favor.

Before the election, the Obama administration issued several warnings to Moscow about its activities, including one delivered by the President to Putin in September, the Post reported.

But as a person who has full clearance for the last 6 months, why is this coming out now? Trump didn’t know until now?

And I guess Trump finally agrees that Russia did meddle in the US election in November after calling it a hoax and fake news for the last 8 months.

Yet still White House counselor Kellyanne The Witch Conway dismissed the idea that Russia influenced the 2016 presidential election. “I think it’s very important to show no nexus has been proven between what Russia or any other foreign government tried to do in the actual election result,” Conway said. “Really the only person making that case prominently is Hillary Clinton.” Didn’t she get the memo [from her boss]?

On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, cohost Mika Brzezinski said that “it’s not normal behavior” for any leader to be tweeting about people’s appearances, bullying, lying, undermining managers and throwing people under the bus if any business executive behaved the way Trump does, “There would be concern that perhaps the person who runs the company is out of his mind.” Trump then tweeted “I heard poorly rated @Morning Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came … to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”

White House social media director Dan Scavino similarly attacked the hosts saying “#DumbAsARockMika and lover #JealousJoe are lost, confused & saddened since @POTUS @realDonaldTrump stopped returning their calls! Unhinged.” What a pair of classy people!

After members from both parties are upset at his comments, the White House is blaming the left wing media for who knows what.

Then just a day later the two hosts from MSNBC were told that if they apologized to Trump [not the other way around], the Nation Enquirer will release some most likely ridiculous story about them. Blackmail. Trump and the publisher of the National Enquirer, David Pecker, are friends and allies.

Melania Trump says when someone goes after her husband, he fights back 10 times. She supports even the latest comment. This also shows he can’t take criticism.

Now the health care vote in the Senate has been delayed until after July 4th so they can negotiate with the hold-outs in the Senate to get the bill going. The House version of the bill would have 1 million less people go uninsured. But there are big names who are voting no or leaning to vote no. They include Ted Cruz, Susan Collins and Rand Paul. Several others also are leaning towards voting no. CBO warned that in some rural areas, either no insurer would be willing participate in the individual market or the policies offered would be prohibitively expensive. Rural America was a stronghold for Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Only 16 senators have given full support.

Already at least 5 senators are so far voting no – anything more than 2 Republican senators leaving and the bill will fail. This was before the Congressional Budget Office released a devastating report on its impact where an additional 32 million Americans insured under ObamaCare would lose their health care insurance. [Not surprising some Republicans think the CBO is now biased – if they don’t like things to go their way they mustn’t be unbiased just like everything else that hasn’t gone the Republican way.]

Even prostitutes are protesting Trumpcare as they will lose coverage and seniors [which make up a chunk of their clients] may not be able to afford both them and higher health care costs.

Trump was celebrating that his travel “ban” was allowed by the Supreme Court – rejoicing that all 9 judges agreed – but he obviously didn’t want to think about that it was only a partial victory. It was the no brainer part – ban those with no US connection from entering the US. But the remaining portion of the travel “ban” will not be decided by the court for a few months.

After it was reported, Time magazine asked Trump to remove some fake magazine covers that shows Trump on the cover of a fictitious Time magazine. 

Being childish as usual, Trump accused former President Obama of stealing his terminology when Obama said last week that there was a fundamental meanness at the core of the Republican health care bill. “Well he actually used my term, ‘mean.’ That was my term,” Trump said. I’m expecting him to copyright the word mean(TM) soon.

The Republicans [and in particularly Trump] keep on lashing out at Hillary Clinton almost 8 months after the election. At the same time, anything the Democrats do against Trump and right away the Republicans claim sore losers. So why is it that a year later [when Clinton won the nomination], Trump has nothing to do but whine?

Just this week Trump tweeted “Hillary Clinton colluded with the Democratic Party in order to beat Crazy Bernie Sanders. Is she allowed to so collude? Unfair to Bernie!” Wow! Trump is defending Bernie. Not. Trump has nothing else to do but to open up another hornet’s nest?

The Trump International Hotel and Tower has been bought by a creditor for $298 million. As part of the change, the Trump brand and management will be dropped. Trump Organization did not own the place. Since it went up in 2012, there has been a series of issues such as delays in opening, construction issues, and twice glass fell below. The building has also been the target of a lawsuit from individual investors of units who allege they were misled by Trump and the building’s developer. Investors said they were led to believe the residential units, which were to be rented out as part of the hotel, would generate returns ranging from 7.74 per cent to 20.9 per cent, but instead they lost money. A court ruled in favour of the investors last year.

With no specific reason why but Vice President Mike Pence is replacing chief of staff John Pitcock with Nick Ayers. A source close to the Vice President says that the change of hands has been in the works for a while, insisting it not a shakeup, and the timing was to coincide with the congressional recess.

Trump has broken with recent precedent by not recognizing June as LGBT Pride Month. He did recognize the month for National Caribbean-American Heritage Month and African-American Music Appreciation Month among others. Ivanka trump did mention LGBT Pride Month at the beginning of the month.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been fighting to legalize sports betting and will make its case before the Supreme Court. He hopes that legal sports betting can help the state’s economy, particularly beleaguered Atlantic City casinos. So far, lower courts have ruled against him. Lawyers for the Trump administration had also urged the Supreme Court not to take up Christie’s appeal.

Nineteen US Senators have written a letter asking the White House “to direct the Department of Energy (DoE) to conduct a thorough analysis of Russian capabilities with respect to cyberattacks on our energy infrastructure.” Legislators made a similar request in March but received no response.

Ivanka Trump made an interesting statement saying that she tries “to stay out of politics.” This for a woman whose current job title is “adviser to the President of the United States.” Question is what does she advise her father on? Fashion [see below]? In most cases, when you are an adviser, you must have some expertise in something. [On the other hand, her father has some people in his cabinet assigned to departments where they have no expertise either.]

Ivanka Trump must give a deposition in a lawsuit by an Italian shoemaker claiming her fashion label copied its designs, a federal judge has ruled. Aquazurra Italia filed the suit against Ivanka Trump and her company in June 2016. It claims the brand has produced cheaper knockoffs of Aquazurra’s “coveted” and highly publicized shoe designs.

Before Donald Trump came into office, Ed Amoroso, the former chief security officer of AT&T, published an open letter recommending that Trump focus on a few simple initiatives in cybersecurity. Despite the fact that the Trump administration adopted some of the recommendations in its executive order on cybersecurity, Amoroso was not impressed with Trump’s approach.

“The executive order was terrible,” said Amoroso at the 2017 Borderless Cyber conference in New York. “It’s this amazing jumble of page after page after page of requesting reports… Who the hell is reading all those, and who’s writing them? … A thousand reports are just going to confuse us all.”

After a poll was done from some 30+ countries, only one country was all around happy with Trump in office. Russia.

Trump will be thrilled [or not] to know that even with the threats before the elections of left leaning voters and celebrities heading to Canada, very few did.

 

“I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings” – Trump

Considering that Donald Trump tweeted less this week there still was plenty of news.

“With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings,” Trump tweeted. So supposedly he personally didn’t record, but doesn’t rule out that someone else did.

But, Tim O’Brien, a Trump biographer, said earlier in June that Trump told him during interviews that he was recording their conversations. But that when Trump sat down for a deposition, Trump “essentially” said he used the threat of tapes to “intimidate” him.

Comey hopes there are tapes as it would once and for all clear [most] things up.

“You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history – led by some very bad and conflicted people!” Trump said in a tweet last week that signified an attempt to undermine both special counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the probe.

“The President is not a subject or target of an investigation. That tweet was in response to a Washington Post story that ran with five unnamed sources….” said Jay Sekulow, a Trump legal adviser. This contradicted Trump’s statement where he previously said he was under investigation. But trump’s tweet made no reference to the Washington post or anything else. Then, in a subsequent interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Sekulow sowed further confusion by saying Trump was under investigation — then denied he said anything of the sort. He also said the tweet was taken “out of context”. How do you do that in 140 characters?

Meantime, the administration is having second thoughts of Mueller heading the investigation even with his credentials because Mueller is said to be friends with Comey [in addition to previously mentioning that a few of Mueller’s people donated to Hillary Clinton’s campaign]. The top level enforcement community is a small community – so of course Mueller knows Comey. And why now after Mueller has been on the job for weeks?

Any though of Trump getting rid of Mueller [he can’t actually Mueller but Rosenstein can] would add to the misery for Trump. It would [again] show that Trump is obstructing justice.

By a 2-to-1 margin, Americans say they are more likely to believe former FBI Director James Comey than President Donald Trump when it comes to their differing accounts of events that led up to Comey’s firing, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. By party, 76 percent of Democrats side with Comey, while 50 percent of Republicans believe Trump. Independents break for Comey over Trump, 47 percent to 17 percent. Just 27 percent approve of Comey’s ouster.

Surprise! Surprise! Trump ranted on the special elections. But he couldn’t get the number of wins right! “Well, the Special Elections are over and those that want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN are 5 and O! All the Fake News, all the money spent = 0”. There were 4 wins and those elections took place in districts where the Republicans always won. He shouldn’t be too happy. For all of them, the percentage between the two candidates shrunk between this election and last November. So some Republicans aren’t happy or didn’t vote.

Scratch your head time. He tweeted “Democrats would do much better as a party if they got together with Republicans on Healthcare,Tax Cuts,Security.”

Trump’s nominee to be the director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, represented an American energy executive in 2006 who was being criminally investigated by the Russian government. The detail, which was included on Wray’s biography on the website of the law firm King and Spalding dating back to 2009, was removed in 2017.

Senate armed services committee Chairman John McCain threatened to block Trump’s deputy defense secretary nominee. McCain charged that Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan was ducking questions during his confirmation hearing, particularly over his response in a written statement that he would look into providing military assistance to Ukraine.

The Senate released their secretive health care bill. The legislation would still make major changes to the nation’s health care system, repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate, drastically cutting back federal support of Medicaid [phase out from 2022 to 2024], eliminating Obamacare’s taxes on the wealthy, insurers and others. The Senate plan however would keep Obamacare’s subsidies to help people pay for individual coverage. The bill would shrink the program even more over time by pegging the annual growth rate of those funds to standard inflation. This would likely force states to cut enrollment, benefits or provider payments.

Obamacare’s premium subsidies structure would be maintained, but tighten the eligibility criteria starting in 2020. Fewer middle class folks would get help because only those earning up to 350% of the poverty level would qualify, rather than the 400% threshold contained in Obamacare. But it would also open up the subsidies to enrollees below the poverty level so those living in states that didn’t expand Medicaid could get some assistance.

The House bill would defund Planned Parenthood for one year. The bill would also aim to shore up the existing Obamacare market by allocating funds for the cost-sharing subsidies until 2019.

So far, 5 GOP senators won’t agree with the bill. If more than 2 say no, the bill won’t pass.

Trump suggested that Otto Warmbier, the American who died days after his release from North Korea, would still be alive if he had been released sooner. He was in prison in North Korea for 17+ months. “He should have been brought home a long time ago,” Trump said. North Korea only informed the US of Warmbier’s medical condition earlier this month. So Trump has been in office for roughly 6 months now. What did he do? White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the US will “continue to apply economic and political pressure” to change North Korea’s behavior. So far, that hasn’t done much. Look at the rockets they continue to test. In the meantime, there are still 3 other Americans in North Korea – two were recently “arrested” and “convicted”. What is he waiting for?

Wow. The Trump administration had some big news [they think]. After the death of Otto Warmbier, they want to add North Korea to the so-called “Travel Ban”. Very few go to North Korea [and fewer even now as the main tour operator to North Korea is refusing Americans]. The administration is trying to show it isn’t just Muslims. Sure.

Trump has appointed longtime loyalist Lynne Patton – who has zero housing experience and claims a law degree the school says she never earned – to run the office that oversees federal housing programs in New York. Cronyism.

As mentioned previously, Trump has named a top donor and fundraiser as ambassador to Canada by choosing Kelly Knight Craft for the post in February and had the State Department vet her, but did not formally nominate her until last week. Craft must now be confirmed by the Senate. She will be part of the team fixing/renegotiating NAFTA and other agreements with Canada. And her experience?

The White House is mulling a new role for White House press secretary Sean Spicer that would take him away from the podium and into a different role inside the West Wing, a White House official said. Unsure what Melissa McCarthy [who portrayed him on Saturday Night Live last season] will do this fall.

The Congressional Black Caucus will reportedly decline to meet with Trump. The lawmakers will reject a meeting with Trump, noting they don’t believe the Trump administration has done anything to support the priorities of the group. “No one wants to be a co-star on the reality show,” said one senior Democratic aide.

A stunning 50% of the CEOs, business execs, government officials and academics surveyed at the annual Yale CEO Summit give Trump an “F” for his first 130 days in office. The survey, released earlier this week, found that another 21% give Trump’s performance a “D” so far. Just 1% of the 125 leaders polled awarded the billionaire an “A.” The survey was a cross-section of the business community, including some who are quite pro-Trump.

Two-thirds of respondents indicated that Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord diminished America’s global standing. Another 86% expressed concern about Trump minimizing Russian security mischief. Business leaders are not impressed with Trump’s budget either. Three-fourths of survey respondents said the administration’s budget proposal is not sound. The Goldman Sachs CEO even sent his first-ever tweet to slam the Paris accord move as a “setback” for U.S. leadership in the world. Just 42% of leaders surveyed by Yale think Trump will pass corporate tax reform.

Recent White House briefings now include no audio or no video. So anything said by a Trump official can’t bite them in the romp.

For the second time in almost 6 months, Trump invited the CEOs of major tech companies to visit him. Trump introduced the tech executives as “special people” who employ “hundreds of thousands” of American workers and are “on the absolute cutting edge of innovation.” Maybe “hundreds of thousands” of American workers but probably a lot more elsewhere. The CEOs asked questions about H-1B visas [normally given to tech people], immigration, climate control, “travel” ban, etc.

From a text message from White House adviser Steven Bannon to a reporter explaining why Sean Spicer has spent less and less time in front of cameras at the podium. “Sean got fatter,” texted Bannon. Republicans said he was joking. Still. If true [and I’m doubting it], is it polite to say in public that to a fellow co-worker who also works in the government?

Trump will host his first re-election campaign fundraising event next Wednesday at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC.

The Department of Homeland Security announced that the Trump administration would maintain an Obama-era program providing protection to undocumented immigrants brought to the US illegally as children by their parents. This breaks another election promise.

White House social media director Dan Scavino violated the law when he used an official-looking Twitter account for campaign purposes, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel has concluded, issuing Scavino a letter of admonishment. Scavino violated the Hatch Act, which bars most executive branch officials from using their government positions to influence elections by tweeting “@realDonaldTrump is bringing auto plants & jobs back to Michigan. @justinamash is a big liability,” Scavino wrote on April 1. “#TrumpTrain, defeat him in primary.”

Ivanka Trump said she is surprised by the “viciousness” of the media covering her father’s presidency. [Not really surprised because of how her father has treated most of the media.] “My father felt very vindicated in all the statements that he’s [James Comey] been making and feels incredibly optimistic,” she said. She interprets Comey’s comments as if Trump will never be implicated but things can happen.

The group VoteVets [with 500,000 military veterans and families] has been blocked from Trump’s Tweeter account access. The group has in the past criticized the president over his budget proposal, Republicans attempts to repeal and replace ObamaCare, and the president’s executive order temporarily barring individuals from certain predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States.

The Golden State Warriors may have won the NBA championships, but many on the team including the team’s coach, Steve Kerr, are not fans of Trump. Don’t expect them to show up for the standard visit to the White House. Unsure about the NHL’s Stanley Cup champions Pittsburgh Penguins.

New Jersey parents are complaining their kids’ support for Donald Trump was erased from a high school yearbook. The school is investigating who removed the text from pictures and in one case a quote from Trump. They want the year book to be reissued. [Good luck there. Cost a lot of money to do so.] While investigation continues, a teacher involved in the publication has been suspended.

Hudson’s Bay — owner of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor — said it is cutting its workforce by 2,000 jobs. Unsure how many US jobs. Macy’s said earlier this year that it will close 68 stores and cut 10,000 jobs. Ascena Retail Group — which owns the Ann Taylor, Dress Barn, Loft, Lane Bryant, Justice, Maurices and Catherines stores — plans to shutter between 250 and 650 locations over the next two years. Unknown number of jobs lost.

JC Penney is shutting down 138 stores by August. Unknown number of jobs lost. Bebe said it planned to shut down all of its stores by the end of May. Unknown number of jobs lost. GameStop said in March it will close more than 100 retail locations. Unknown number of jobs lost. The parent company of Kmart and Sears said in January it will shutter 150 stores. Unknown number of jobs lost.

Gymboree filed for bankruptcy protections with 1300 stores and 12,000 employees. Verizon expects to cut as many as 2,100 employees with the purchase of Yahoo’s core Internet assets.

Retail bankruptcies are up about 30% so far this year. Total store closings across the U.S. are likely to reach record levels this year.

Yes. The American economy is doing well under this presidency. Not.

Trump’s job approval rating has dropped to 36% due to Americans’ negative reaction to his handling of the Russia investigations, a new CBS News poll has found. From CBS, it was 41% in April. 63% of Americans disapproving of Trump’s response to the Russia investigation. 73% would prefer a public discussion on the Republicans’ health care replacement bill and feel they don’t have a good understanding of what the new plan would do. 67% of people believe the Republicans’ plan would hurt them more than help them.

 

Trump and company lawyering up

Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Donald Trump for obstruction of justice. The three officials Mueller is interviewing are Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers and Richard Ledgett, the recently retired deputy NSA director. Mueller has been tasked with leading the executive branch’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and any potential collusion between Russia and Trump associates. It took a few days but Trump finally admitted he was under investigation but not specifically notified.

The Justice Department is also looking into the financial dealings of Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Trump’s longtime attorney and adviser Michael Cohen has hired a lawyer to represent him in the investigations into Russian meddling. Even Mike Pence has brought in a personal lawyer.

“Never has there been a president….with few exceptions…who’s passed more legislation, who’s done more things than I have,” said Trump this past week in a cabinet meeting. Oh ya? Aside from executive orders which are mostly like request, there was nothing passed by congress itself. Every new cabinet secretary sucked up to Trump with praise and other positive comments followed by all the other secretaries.

During the campaign, Trump signed a “Contract With the American Voter,” in which he promised to work with Congress to introduce 10 bills “and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration.” But he only had introduced one – the American Health Care Act – and the initial version was never voted on. The second version passed by a single vote but will probably not pass the Republican controlled senate. Experts agree it is impossible to pass 10 legislative bills in the first 100 days.

Trump said that after the shooting in Virginia, where a Republican congressman and others were shot, that the shootings could bring unity to a divided nation. He wishes that. We wish it. But I doubt it. Just look at some comments that came after the shooting and after the shooter was found to be anti-Trump. Some Republicans said the shooting happened because of the Democrats – either their rhetoric or their actions.

Oh, the Democrats won 11-2. But at least the booing was toned down, even when Trump was on the video screen prior to the game.

In the weirdness of Washington, Mike Pence’s lawyer is the godfather of Comey’s daughter. That’s “the swamp” for you.

The state of Maryland and the District of Columbia plan to sue Trump, alleging that he has violated the Constitution by accepting foreign money through his business empire, according to a person familiar with the plans. The suit will allege that Trump has violated the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which prohibits the president from accepting payments from foreign governments without the consent of Congress, according to the person. It will cite not just the president’s luxury hotel in Washington but his worldwide network of hotels, golf courses and other commercial properties The suit will argue that Maryland and the District of Columbia have been harmed by Trump’s ongoing ownership of the business. They plan to cite convention centers and other properties in Maryland and the district that compete with the Trump hotel.

Trump keeps on playing around whether or not there are tape recordings of conversations [in the Oval Office] between he and others such as Comey. A sort of un-presidential hide and seek. Is he hiding something? Maybe there are tapes and the tapes show him doing things he shouldn’t have.

A close friend of Trump suggests that Trump wanted to dismiss special counsel Robert Mueller, who is appointed to lead the FBI investigation into Russia’s potential ties to the 2016 election. Legally, the attorney general is the one who has to fire him. [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions is recused here, so it would be up to [Deputy Attorney General] Rod Rosenstein, who was the person who just appointed Bob Mueller a couple of weeks ago. Respected by both parties, but Mueller has brought in three lawyers [among the others] who have donated to the Democrats in the past.

Adam Schiff said if Mueller was ousted, Congress would have to re-establish the Independent Counsel Act that expired following the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

Newt Gingrich tweeted in mid-May “Robert Mueller is superb choice to be special counsel. His reputation is impeccable for honesty and integrity.” 4 weeks later he says ” Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair.”

Trump accused Comey of “cowardly” leaks and predicted many more from him. “Totally illegal?” he asked in a tweet. “Very ‘cowardly!'” Wondering if he knows the definition of coward.

In a sarcastic outburst, Russian President Vladimir Putin scoffed at former FBI director James Comey’s disclosure of his conversations with Trump, saying the move has made Comey eligible for political asylum in Russia.

Donald Trump Jr said in an interview on Fox News that when his father says to do something – no matter how he says it – you do it.

Trump reported hundreds of millions of dollars in income Friday in financial disclosure forms that shed more light on his vast business holdings. At his golf courses alone, Trump reported $288 million in income in the past year The numbers were reported in a 98-page disclosure form signed by Trump this week and made public by the Office of Government Ethics. The report covers January 2016 through April 15, 2017. This is not his tax returns.

Chief of Staff Reince R. Priebus is said to have until the Independence Day holiday to put the West Wing in order. If he fails to do so, Trump may reportedly ship him off to serve as the ambassador to Greece.

While Trump berates Qatar for sponsoring terrorism at the highest levels, he is simultaneously authorizing the country to purchase over $21 billion of 36 F-15QA fighter jets. Maybe he’ll send those to Hamas or Hezbollah. The Qatari ambassador to the U.S. tweeted “…creating 60,000 new jobs in 42 states across the United States.” Sounds to me like he was told to say that – something the administration would want.

NBC’s Megyn Kelly’s forthcoming interview with controversial media personality Alex Jones. His extreme right wing views has some of her sponsors dropping her at least for the show. Jones called Sandy Hook and Aurora hoaxes. Jones has said Sandy Hook massacre could have been a “false flag” operation to win support for new gun control measures. Trump was interviewed by Jones during the 2016 campaign, and he reportedly thanked Jones for his support after winning the election.

Another federal appeals court has upheld a decision blocking Trump’s revised travel ban. This ruling from a unanimous three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals deals the administration another legal defeat as the Supreme Court considers a separate case on the issue. The judges say the president violated U.S. immigration law by discriminating against people based on their nationality and that Trump failed to show their entry into the country would hurt American interests.

Trump tweeted in early June “In any event we are EXTREME VETTING people coming into the U.S. in order to help keep our country safe. The courts are slow and political!” It sounds like his so-called extreme vetting is being used but I wonder if it is any different than vetting done 6 months ago. The courts are always slow – they want to come out with the proper answer – not some sloppy decision making Trump is accustomed to. As for the political part, not all of the justices – who are supposed to be impartial – are Democrats.

The proposed changes in US-Cuba relations that Trump will unveil in Miami could adversely impact hotel brands that directly compete with Trump’s business empire, making it more difficult for them expand their foothold in Cuba. Trump’s changes in Cuba policy include prohibiting “financial transactions, including transactions incidental to travel with GAESA and its affiliates, subsidiaries, and successors.” Gaviota, the tourism arm of the government-run GAESA, currently operates the Four Points by Sheraton Havana.

Melania Trump finally moved into her not so new digs with son Barron. We will see if this will have some type of change on the hubby. The good thing is the cost to protect the family will drop as they will rarely be in New York. I’m sure the city of New York is also happy with the extra costs as well as traffic issues.

Trump hosted 13 Republican senators for lunch at the White House in a bid to help the lawmakers find common ground to move forward with health care reform legislation this summer. He would probably have to add more funding in order to get some law approved.

A Democratic congressman introduced the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement or COVFEFE act with the goal of ensuring presidential social media posts are archived. It would amend the Presidential Records Act to include the term social media.

There are 21 states where someone bought the vanity license place “COVFEFE” by checking online. This is one.

In addition some are using the alternative spelling “COVF3F3”. Not all states have the option to check online.

The Guardian reported that Trump told Prime Minister Theresa May that he doesn’t want to come to the UK if there will be protests — a likely prospect. [On top of that, May’s government may not even last that long.] London Mayor Sadiq Khan last week said the visit should be called off, after Trump insulted him in tweets following the London Bridge attack.

The polarized US politics

It isn’t hard to noticed that the US political scene has been more polarized in the last 5+ years than any time before. It is right versus left with nothing in between.

But never has the US had a president who has caused plenty of controversy to the point that he has had trouble of getting legislative bills passed.

He antagonized first fellow Republican nominees, accusing them or even family members, of things that he could never prove.

And when news media reported this, he called it “fake news”.

He continued his fake news tirade during the election – even calling his opposing candidate a liar and a crook – something no presidential candidate ever said to another before.

When the media ganged up on him and even had undisputable proof of what he has done, he still denied what he saw and used his “fake news” term or “some people say” to give a lame excuse of proof when there is no proof of backing up his latest claim.

He continues his “fake news” comments while as president even where there is proof.

He has known to say one thing and then change his mind. When the media said he said the first thing, he’d deny it with the ‘fake news” moniker even though there is proof he said it.

There is already an “army” of Trump supports who will deny he said or done something even though he has gone on record of saying it.

Forbes magazine, a respectable one on the business world, did some investigating in the Eric Trump Foundation for questionable usage of donations. And yet the Trump supports are denying it or asking where is the proof. I think most respectable media outlets will properly investigate before claiming something or risk a lawsuit. As of yet, the foundation has had no lawsuits announced.

Meanwhile the state of New York is looking into the Forbes’ allegations as well as other issues.

With the way thing are going, what would happen if Trump was impeached. Would Trump support take to the streets and start massive full blown riots? I wouldn’t be surprised. Many of the Trump supports are farther right than what most of the Republican party likes. Klu Klux Klan, militias and others.

Others could deny it and say it is a left wing conspiracy – even though Vice President Mike Pence [a Republican] would become President.