Trumpworld is shaking

Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said “The corruption of the country, whether or not other countries participating in support of Ukraine, and whether or not cooperating in an ongoing investigation with the department of justice. That is completely legitimate, yes.” When reporter then questioned Mulvaney on his explanation saying it sounds like a quid-pro-quo to which Mulvaney said: “We do that all the time with foreign policy.”

Mulvaney confirmed that Donald Trump asked Energy Secretary Rick Perry to work with Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, on policies related to Ukraine, but he denied doing so constituted a “shadow foreign policy,” as multiple witnesses have said Giuliani conducted.

Trump threatened to sue top congressional Democrats Rep. Adam Schiff and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi amid the House impeachment inquiry into Trump. Trump has a long track record of calling for lawsuits against his critics and not following through. Article 1, section 6 of the Constitution protects members of Congress from being sued over their statements made on the floor, which also would apply to committees.

Trump said he spoke to his lawyers about Schiff and told them, “Sue him anyway, even if we lose, the American public will understand.” Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence committee, is spearheading the impeachment inquiry. “And sue Nancy Pelosi,” Trump continued. “Or maybe we should just impeach them, because they’re lying and what they’re doing is a terrible thing for our country.” Members of Congress cannot be impeached, according to the Constitution. So, again, Trump knows nothing about the Constitution.

Giuliani said that he’s not aware he’s under investigation for his involvement with the unraveling Ukraine scandal, saying “No, nothing but leaks, which has to tell you whether they are or are not investigating, it’s a political attack. Otherwise, why leak it [the investigation]?” Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are looking into whether Giuliani violated foreign lobbying laws in his dealings with Ukraine.

Trump also denied knowing the two Giuliani associates arrested last week, but admitted they had donated to his campaign. “They’re donors,” Trump said, “but I have many donors.” Hmmm. You tend to know the names of the big donors and not the “small fish”. You think he doesn’t know them? There is a photo of one of them and Trump acting like friends.

“Such a one sided Witch Hunt going on in USA. Deep State. Shameful!” Trump added, perpetuating his baseless claim that bureaucrats are out to get him. It was unclear from Trump’s tweet whether he was attacking his own Justice Department or the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

Behind closed door, Marie Yovanovitch, the former American ambassador to Ukraine, had detailed to Congress how Giuliani smeared her to Ukrainian officials and questioned whether Giuliani’s associates were looking to benefit financially from her removal. According to the indictment, they had asked former Rep. Pete Sessions, to help get Yovanovitch fired at the same time they committed to raising tens of thousands of dollars for that congressman’s reelection.

Even as House Republicans mount a vigorous defense of Trump amid the impeachment inquiry, some are growing uneasy about the role that Giuliani played in carrying out US policy with Ukraine. Several Republicans who sit on the key committees say more needs to be learned about Giuliani’s role, while also revealing new concerns about the continuing revelations that are emerging.

Meanwhile, Giuliani is parting ways with the lawyer representing him so far in matters related to the impeachment inquiry. His current attorney, Jon Sale, is ending his representation of the former New York City mayor shortly. People close to Giuliani are advising him to hire a criminal lawyer as questions linger about his connections to two of his associates who were indicted last week for campaign-finance violations.

Trump questioned why the US government is protecting the whistleblower whose complaint sparked House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. So basically he doesn’t like whistleblowers [that are after him] but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if they went after his [political] enemies. There goes democracy.

Recently Trump said “I used to think she [Nancy Pelosi] loved the country. She hates the country. Nancy Pelosi hates the United States of America, because she wouldn’t be doing this.” Why doesn’t he charge her with [say] treason. A government official hating her country. That should be enough [in his mind].

Trump tweeted “Republicans are totally deprived of their rights in this Impeachment Witch Hunt. No lawyers, no questions, no transparency!” No not Republicans. Just you and your swamp cronies. The House is following the same rules as the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

While Vice President Mike Pence called it a ceasefire, Turkey called it a 120 hour [5 day] pause in fighting. Trump called the US-announced ceasefire in Turkey an “incredible outcome”. Turkish operation would supposedly end when the Kurd forces complete the withdrawal.

Trump claims all are happy, yet the Kurds say they aren’t. They don’t know where they are going. Those in the US against the deal say Turkey got everything it wanted. Expect Trump to claim this “pause” as a ceasefire in the upcoming election – no matter how this works out.

So even with the “ceasefire” in place, the fighting still continues. Looks like another failure for Trump.

Trump continues to change his “facts” saying other US administrations have been trying to negotiate a Turkish-Syrian deal for “years”, then later said “10 years” [in Texas] and even later he said “15 years”. But p residents Barack Obama and George W. Bush never sought to give Turkey anything like the concessionary terms of Trump’s deal. In addition, the Syrian civil war had not even started 10 years ago or 15 years ago.

At a meeting in the White House regarding the Syrian invasion by Turkey, the Democrats walked out of the meeting after Trump started calling Speaker Nancy Pelosi a “third-grade politician” among other things. Trump later called Pelosi “a very sick person!” Of course the White House has a different story that reeks of bull crap.

Trump said that Turkey’s incursion of northern Syria “has nothing to do with us” and added that former US allies — the Kurds — “… are much safer now. The Kurds know how to fight and as I said, they’re not angels.” Trump also called his sudden and controversial decision to remove US troops from Northern Syria “strategically brilliant.”

Scratching your head time: “But they fought with us. We paid a lot of money for them to fight with us and that’s OK. They did well when they fought with us. They didn’t do so well when they didn’t fight with us,” he added. When was the latter [aside from the wrong tense]?

Meanwhile, Turkish President/Dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he’s not worried about American-imposed sanctions or the advancement of Russian-backed Syrian forces toward the Turkish border. “Declare a ceasefire, they say. We will never declare a ceasefire,” Erdogan said. “We do not sit at the table with terrorist organizations.” [We will assume he meant the Kurds and not the US.] Erdogan is scheduled for a visit to the US soon. He has indicated that he may not take the trip now.

While Kurdish officials and Republican and Democratic lawmakers have argued that the pullback helped provide a de facto green light for the Turkish attack, senior members of the Trump administration have insisted Turkey would have invaded regardless of whether US troops had remained and that the US has not deserted the Syrian Kurds.

Trump tweeted “Kurds may be releasing some [ISIS followers] to get us involved. Easily recaptured by Turkey or European Nations from where many came, but they should move quickly.” The Kurds never released anyone, so none were captured quickly because none were released. However, Turkish warplanes and artillery have also repeatedly struck several detention camps, allowing the escape of several ISIS prisoners and others.

The invasion by Turkey has forced the SDF to strike a deal with the Syrian government. Under this deal, the SDF will disband as an entity and become integrated into Syrian forces, several units of which are currently under Russian control. A strange frenemies setup.

Then Trump wants to mediate a truce. If he didn’t pull the troops out of Syria, none of this would of happened. Or maybe it’s just a plan by him to show how he can mediate between warring parties [boast at election time]. Trump is also accusing Turkey of potential war crimes.

Trump tweeted a statement saying he would soon authorize via executive order new sanctions on current and former Turkish officials. He said he’d also reimpose heavy duties on Turkish steel and cut off trade talks. The number of lobbyists who have served in government jobs is four times more than the Obama administration had six years into office. Former lobbyists serving Trump are often involved in regulating the industries they worked for.

While Treasury Department has “very significant new sanctions authorities” against Turkey over its actions in Syria, nothing has been done. Trump tweeted that he is working with Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, and unnamed Democrats to impose “powerful sanctions” on Turkey. The unnamed Democrat means there is no Democrat in the talks.

But Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen introduced an outline for strict sanctions on Turkey, and the proposal has quickly picked up support among members from both parties which would be stronger sanctions than the white house has offered. It would sanction the assets of top Turkish leaders — including its President — and bar transactions involving the Turkish defense and energy sectors, among other penalties.

“The United States of America did not give a green light for Turkey to invade Syria,” Vice President Mike Pence said. Except Turkey really doesn’t need the US’s approval. Do they?

Several US military and defense officials, including personnel deployed to Syria, expressed dismay at how the Trump administration has handled the situation. One US official [although there are probably others] said it is well known that some senior US military officials are livid at how the Kurds have been treated given their role in helping the US fight ISIS.

The latest delivery of a Russian-made S-400 missile defense system — which Washington opposes Ankara buying — will arrive in November or December. The first delivery of components arrived in July and Erdogan’s comments are likely to further rile up US officials, who have threatened to level sanctions against Turkey if the system ever became operational. Unsure how Turkey, part of NATO, can use a Russian made defense system.

Trump tweeted hours after the 4th Democratic debate “Our record Economy would CRASH, just like in 1929, if any of those clowns became President!” Yes this coming from an economics expert whose only plan is to apply sanctions to get what he wants or to fix his mistakes.

Trump’s fight to keep his tax returns private is at odds with his own thinking in 2013 and 2014 that releasing them as part of a presidential bid would make him look like a smart businessman who had spent years lowering his taxable income. Trump ultimately changed his mind after an adviser says he convinced him not to release his taxes, and he has spent years claiming he can’t because he’s under audit by the IRS.

Claiming that he would pay little [or no taxes] would actually have backfired because people would look negatively at him. They would see this supposedly rich businessman not paying his taxes [finding loop holes] while the common middle and low class people have to pay taxes because they don’t have a team of accountants who can find ways for him not to pay taxes.

In May 2014, Trump told an Irish television station that he would “absolutely” release his tax returns if he entered the race. “If I decide to run for office, I’ll produce my tax returns, absolutely,” he said. “And I would love to do that.” It wasn’t until November 2014 that Trump abandoned the idea. At that point it was still eight months before Trump announced for president.

Trump’s real estate business reported different financial figures for 40 Wall Street and the Trump International Hotel and Tower to lenders than to New York tax authorities. The different sets of numbers on expenses, profits and occupancy figures resulted in the two buildings appearing more lucrative to lenders and less so to city officials assessing property taxes.

The Trump National Golf Course Westchester, which Ossining, New York, said was worth $15.1 million, but which Trump, fighting for a smaller tax bill, argued in court was worth just $1.5 million. In a 2017 financial disclosure, Trump said the club was worth far more than the $15 million claimed.

A popular web development tool called Laravel was left with debug mode on. It seems that the developer of the campaign site for Trump left the debug mode enabled, exposing credentials to the site and other details.

As host for the next G7 summit, the US will have the economic summit take place at the Trump National Doral golf resort near Miami. “Doral was by far and away the best physical facility for this meeting,” White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said. “It’s almost like they built this facility to host this event.” Uh huh.

Mulvaney said Trump would not profit from use of the property and defended the decision and that the administration selected Trump’s resort after initially looking at about 12 potential locations in various other U.S. states. So let’s see. $5 for a can of Coke. $150 per rental chair for the main gala. $3 for a small pad of paper.

During a speech, former Secretary of Defense James Mattis insisted that Trump’s comments didn’t bother him. Mattis riffed that he “earned my spurs at the battlefield” while Trump “earned his spurs from a letter from the doctor” in a pointed jab at his former boss’ cited reason for avoiding the Vietnam War draft.

Mattis went on to joke that “the only person on the military that Mr. Trump doesn’t think is overrated” is “Colonel Sanders,” the founder of the Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food restaurant chain.

Retired four-star Admiral William McRaven, the architect of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, said Trump was working to “destroy” the country from “within” and “without.”

Hundreds of Trump supporters this week were left stranded by bus company US Coachways after the organizers for a “March for Trump” rally against House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry in Washington DC failed to pay them. After the buses never showed up, however, Trump supporters claimed that the bus company was part of a “deep state” conspiracy aimed at silencing their voices.

A new book detailing 43 new allegations of inappropriate behavior by Trump – including 26 alleged instances of unwanted sexual conduct – is coming out soon. Many of the allegations in the book, All the President’s Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator, published by Hachette, have been leveled before.

At a rally Dallas rally this week:

  • Trump said the Obama administration spent “no money on that [AIDS/HIV].” – Except the Obama administration spent $10.8 billion on domestic HIV/AIDS research between the 2013 fiscal year and 2016 fiscal year alone and $85.1 billion more on domestic HIV/AIDS care Trump claimed that the Democrats “want to give more to illegal aliens than they give to American citizens.” – False.
  • Trump repeated his promise to “always protect patients with pre-existing conditions.” – Except the Trump administration and congressional Republicans have repeatedly put forward bills and filed lawsuits that would weaken Obamacare’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Trump claimed that President Barack Obama left him “142” judicial vacancies. – Except there were 104 vacancies on January 1, 2017. And what was his point of this?
  • Trump claimed that presidents before him were “always” left zero judicial vacancies to fill. – Except there were 53 vacancies on January 1, 2009, just before Barack Obama took office; 80 vacancies on January 1, 2001, just before George W. Bush took office. And so on.
  • Trump claimed the US did not win “any cases” at the World Trade Organization before he came along. Except the US had won 86% of the cases it had brought since 1995.
  • Trump said his wall on the Mexican border is “going up rapidly.” – Except no additional miles of border wall had been built during Trump’s presidency in places where barriers had not existed before, according to a fact sheet from Customs and Border Protection. 69 miles of barriers were fixed.
  • Trump claimed that there were “close to 30,000” outside the arena in Dallas. – Except the Dallas Police Department spokesman said at most 5000.

Something is wrong. Trump was a bit quiet this week.

Donald Trump is claiming he cannot be sued now that he has won the White House — a defense in a lawsuit that alleges Trump incited rally-goers to violence when they allegedly assaulted protesters during the 2016 campaign. The lawsuit also names Trump for allegedly inciting the men’s actions, pointing to Trump telling the crowd, “Get them out of here” with regard to protesters during the rally. Trump’s lawyers contended that Trump was speaking to security and not the crowd. The judge said no. But in Clinton v. Jones, judges ruled that Bill Clinton’s “actions” against Paula Jones occurred before he was president. We’ll see who foots the bill for the legal stuff…. Ya. The taxpayer I’m sure.

Trump had no intention of making his public. Democrats have seized on that decision, uniting around a pledge not to cooperate on any rewriting of the tax code unless they know specifically how that revision would benefit the billionaire president and his family. The Trump administration’s tax plan, promised in February, has yet to materialize. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the administration’s goal of getting a tax plan signed by August was “not realistic at this point.” The potential repeal of the estate tax or elimination of the alternative minimum tax as provisions would enrich Trump. More than a dozen Republicans have agreed that Mr. Trump should release his returns.

Allan Lichtman, a distinguished professor of history at American University, has stated there are 8 reasons why Trump could be impeached. On top of the list is if Trump knew about or participated in Russia’s role in the elections last year. Second on the list is if Trump has received any foreign money or gifts while being president. The latter is because of his supposedly dealings in Russia and elsewhere. “Donald Trump is the president most vulnerable to impeachment among all first-time elected American presidents.”

Trump will sign an executive order that will stop short of the one- to two-year moratorium on new skilled worker visas that Trump called for during the campaign. It comes too late to have a direct effect on this year’s visa season, which opened April 3. Trump has accused mostly information technology companies of “importing low-wage workers on H-1B visas to take jobs from young college-trained Americans” except few companies give H-1B visa employees “low-wage” salaries for them.

At an executive order signing this week, Trump went after the Canadian dairy industry saying Canada’s supply-managed dairy industry is “very unfair” to U.S. farmers and “another typical one-sided deal against the United States.” Once again he doesn’t know the facts. United States “heavily subsidizes” their agricultural sector. Imports of U.S. milk products have increased since 199, and now account for three-quarters of milk products in Canada. U.S. farmers have claimed they are losing up the US$150 million per year because of heavy import tariffs on ultra-filtered milk used to produce cheese. Obviously not from Canada.

In a special election to replace new Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in Georgia’s 6th District — long a reliable Republican stronghold Trump tweeted “The super Liberal Democrat in the Georgia Congressioal [it is how Trump typed it] race tomorrow wants to protect criminals, allow illegal immigration and raise taxes!” Standard propaganda from the right. Meanwhile he urged Republicans to vote for any Republican. But that would split the vote instead of selecting a single candidate. Expect Trump to take credit if the Republicans win the seat claiming it is the voters who are approving his policies.

In the end, in the special election, in a conservative stronghold, the Democrat ultimately fell just short of the percent needed to avoid a runoff. There will be a June 20th runoff between the Democrat and a Republican. The Democrat fell 1.9% short. Combined with the votes of the four other Democrats that ran [assuming roughly the same number of people vote and vote by party], the Democrats could pull off a big victory. Mitt Romney won by 23 points in 2012. Tom Price won 62% of the vote in 2016 before being named health and human services secretary.

Laughingly Trump tweeted after “Dems failed in Kansas and are now failing in Georgia. Great job Karen Handel!” Doesn’t he know there is a runoff? Doesn’t he know how many voters the GOP lost in just 5 months?

He also tweeted “Despite major outside money, FAKE media support & eleven Republican candidates, BIG “R” win with runoff in Georgia. Glad to be of help!” Yup. He helped in almost costing the GOP the election.

Karen Handel will make residency the central issue of the runoff since the Democrat contender doesn’t live in the district. He use to and said he’d move back there. That’s the only thing she could think of?

Residency? Federal laws says Members of Congress only need to live in the state they represent but he doesn’t represent them…. Yet. The law says nothing about living in the district.

The US government could shut down at the end of April [or early/mid-May if an extension] if the parties don’t agree on spending issues. Already Trump’s wall, Obamacare, military spending, research and other aspects could affect things. On top of that the GOP’s Freedom Caucus is against any extra spending. So Trump’s people may have to try and get some Democrats on their side. Good luck. You know who Trump will blame if there is a shut down – and it won’t be the Freedom Caucus.

Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, was hammered recently during a town hall while defending President Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns.

Funny how Trump called China a currency manipulator during the election campaign and now doesn’t because China is supposedly helping in trying to straighten out North Korea. So when you help Trump, everything Trump previously said about you goes out the door.

A new Gallup poll shows that only 45% of people surveyed trust President Trump to keep his promises, a 17% decrease from February.

Trump has become the first Western leader to congratulate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for winning a controversial referendum that grants him far-reaching, largely unchecked powers. So one dictator-wanna-be congratulates the latest dictator. No western governments have congratulated Erdpgan in is power grab.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he was not disrespecting Hawaii or a judge in the state when he said he was “amazed” that the official was able to block President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban halting immigration from several majority Muslim countries. I guess Sessions doesn’t believe in democracy.

Trump had Kid Rock, Sarah “There’s Russia” Palin and Ted “Motor City Madman” [a.k.a. nut ball] Nugent over for dinner [see here]. What a motley crew. Palin and the others also were in the Oval office. I guess Palin finally got to go in there. The background picture is a portrait of Hillary Clinton, which hangs in the White House basement along with paintings of other first ladies. The basement? [Palin recently said that the women in former Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly scandal should of resigned. Why should they resign when he is guilty.]

Ivanka Trump’s company won provisional approval from the Chinese government for three new trademarks, giving it monopoly rights to sell Ivanka brand jewelry, bags and spa services in the world’s second-largest economy. That night, the first daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, sat next to the president of China and his wife for a steak and Dover sole dinner at Mar-a-Lago. Coincidence? Meanwhile, even with some boycotting [and her father’s Twitter tirades about them], U.S. imports, almost all of them from China, shot up an estimated 166 per cent last year, while sales hit record levels in 2017. Ivanka Trump Marks LLC applied for at least nine new trademarks in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Canada and the U.S. after the election.

Super Bowl winners, the New England Patriots, visited the White House. Absent were at least 7 members including Tom Brady who cited “family matters”. Trump is supposedly a big fan and friend of Brady, Patriots owner Bob Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick. During the election Brady never publicly endorsed Trump even though Trump claimed [hmmm] that he did.

Emirates, the Middle East’s biggest airline, said that it is cutting flights to the United States because of a drop in demand caused by heightened U.S. security measures and Trump administration attempts to ban travelers from Muslim-majority nations.

Interesting to note that at this time into the first term for George W. Bush, he visited roughly have the states in America. Barack Obama had visited a bunch of states plus 3 visits elsewhere. Trump? He has visited his Mar-a-Lago compound/resort more times than the number of states he visited [seven] and visits elsewhere [none] during the same period as the other two. Trump does seem to like receiving dignitaries [sounds like something a king would do].