The Trump administration is still stumbling

At a news conference, Donald Trump continues to fight with states over petty issues. For example he claims the various state that have been hit hard have received their fair share of medical equipment. He could of cut it there but then he added that some states claim they haven’t received their share. He then announced that he expects in some areas bars and restaurants to re-open soon. He’s dreaming.

Trump tweeted “President Trump is a ratings hit. Since reviving the daily White House briefing Mr. Trump and his coronavirus updates have attracted an average audience of 8.5 million on cable news, roughly the viewership of the season finale of ‘The Bachelor.’ Numbers are continuing to rise…” Trump think this is one real TV show [just like his Apprentice TV show. But others have notice he doesn’t tweet there are over 2400 deaths in the US now. He is using some claim from the New York Times.

The White House recently signaled that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be issuing new guidance in the coming days and recommending the widespread use of face masks. But CDC denied such claims. Currently, the group recommends only health care professionals and people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms wear a face mask.

Then Trump said his administration was now recommending Americans wear “non-medical cloth” face coverings, a reversal of previous guidance that suggested masks were unnecessary for people who weren’t sick. And yet he refuses to wear one. The CDC may have been pressured to sort of agree for the “non-medical cloth” face coverings. However they think people will try to get medical mask masks which will increase the short supply of masks.

The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, says the virus may subside in the US before possibly gaining force again in the fall when it’s cold. Expect [my prediction] that if this does happen, Trump will say [ignoring the REAL experts] that the virus is gone and he’ll praise himself for weeks.

In previous health issues, the US has led the charge to eradicate them. For example President Obama on dealing with Ebola in 2014. But the Trump administration denied there was an epidemic for too long. Enter the Chinese, who have been using their money power to invest all across Europe in recent years.

The Chinese sent a planeload of medical supplies to Italy. Thousands of Chinese masks, ventilators, and test kits have been arriving across Europe, in some cases accompanied by Chinese medics. Such assistance may be part of a Chinese charm offensive, but the bottom line is that China is stepping up for Europe at a time when the US is nowhere to be found.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a warning to the Trump administration to keep the Canada-US border open for the trade of essential goods after medical manufacturer 3M said it is being forced to stop exporting N95 face masks.

3M said the American government has invoked the Defense Production Act [DPA] to force the company to prioritize orders for N95 respirators that come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Trump said that his administration had “hit 3M hard today after seeing what they were doing with their masks.” “Hit hard”?

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland hinted that Canadian doctors and nurses working in the US could be pulled from their jobs there.

The dispute came as Canada announced it had ratified the new NAFTA deal with the United States and Mexico. This could affect the ratification of the deal.

Meanwhile, the US hijacked a shipment of 3M masks made in Thailand and was headed to Germany as part of the DPA. Germany was definitely not happy, calling it “piracy”.

Trump claims US testing is on par with other countries, a reporter said that’s not true as per capita, the US has done less testing. Then claimed the Seoul had 40 million people and comparisons can’t compare. But Seoul isn’t much bigger than New York City and has done more testing.

Trump mentioned anti-malaria drugs that are being tested as potential treatments, saying that the clinical trials are “having some good results,” even though public health officials say the results are months away.

Mike Pence said the Food and Drug Administration had “approved” a new method to test the coronavirus, even though the FDA only granted emergency authorization for the test, which requires a much lower standard.

Trump spoke at a sendoff of the medical ship USNS Comfort. Aside from one guy, nobody was at the dock near him. A shocking. The crew was already on board.

Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, said coronavirus briefing that states themselves have medical equipment stockpiled — and argued that “the notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile; it’s not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use.” Journalists and others quickly pointed out that the federal stockpile’s own website made clear Kushner was wrong. The web site was changed the day after to reflect what Kushner said.

Pence, acting very like his boss, said “I will be very candid with you and say that in mid-January the CDC was still assessing that the risk of the coronavirus to the American people was low. The very first case, which was someone who had been in China — in late January around the 20th day of January.” But a lot depended on what the Trump administration did following that first case – really nothing. Trump himself said it would be over in the US early. Didn’t happen.

US health officials from the CDC took active steps starting in January to prepare for the outbreak as information trickled out of China. While public health officials and medical experts raised the alarm, Trump downplayed their concerns and injected controversial and unproven theories into the conversation. At a briefing on February 26, for example, Trump said all of the following: “This is a flu. This is like a flu.”

At a news conference, Trump decided it is more important to keep the airlines running than ground them so that the virus doesn’t spread more.

The Trump administration didn’t tell the full truth… Again. Americans likely won’t begin to see direct payments from the coronavirus stimulus bill until at least April 13 and it could take 20 weeks for all the checks to be mailed, Trump administration officials told lawmakers, according to a House Democratic memo. This is despite repeated suggestions from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that the money would go out as soon as April 6.

Many will get there checks. Those with direct deposits from 2018 or 2019 tax years will see it by mid-April. Checks for others won’t begin until early May and could take a while when they issue 5 million checks per week. 80 million Americans will receive checks.

The Trump administration has deemed “firearm and ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges” as critical infrastructure in the updated “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce” advisory. Meanwhile, national gun rights groups have already filed a series of lawsuits in places like New Jersey and California challenging stay-at-home orders that didn’t specifically designate firearm retailers as an “essential service.”

Trump tweeted “One of the reasons that Fake News has become so prevalent & far reaching is the fact that corrupt “journalists” base their stories on SOURCES that they make up in order to totally distort a narrative or story. When you see, “five sources say”, don’t believe the story.” And when he says “many people’ or his other usual phrases, they are also made up.

[Remember the time when he was doing some rallies and at one spot he said something like 10 crying “truckers” and then next rally the day after, he said 10 were crying but it wasn’t truckers but another group. Exactly 10 and they were all crying. Truckers crying?]

Trump supposedly called up former Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez — and his fiancée, Jennifer Lopez — to get their thoughts on a national response to the coronavirus pandemic. This was part of Trump’s ongoing outreach speaking to business leaders and others about how the country is handling the pandemic. Trump had slammed A-Rod after he contributed to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012. “Everything A-Rod touches turns bad,” Trump sniped then.

At New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s press conferences and there is a camera view of where they are sitting. Looks weird. Each reporter is sitting at least 6 ft from the next one. Those on the podium are a bit closer thought. Maybe 4 ft. But they are using a large room. So why doesn’t Trump move his press conferences to a large room in the White Shack so those on the podium or the journalists can be spread out further.

At a Trump news conference:

  • “We have some interesting things will be announced, I think over the next few weeks, but we’ll see what happens.” Classic Trump. He hints at possible medical breakthroughs without offering any evidence.
  • “And remember, we started with a system that was broken. For many years, it was broken. And I’m not blaming the last administration.” Of course he is while he had 3 years to fix it and didn’t.
  • “Where are the masks going? Are they going out the back door? How do you go from 10,000 to 300,000?” In which the President of the United States suggests, with zero evidence, that hospitals in New York are somehow stealing masks or purposely asking for too many from the federal government.
  • “Many of the states are stocked up. Some of them don’t admit it, but they have — we have sent just so much — so many things to them and — including ventilators.” Trump casually accusing states of lying about their medical needs in the midst of a global pandemic.
  • “Just like — I’ll never forget the day when a general came and said, “Sir” — my first week in office — ‘we have no ammunition.'” Trump is claiming in January 2017, the military had no ammunition. Seriously?
  • “So you’re going to have tremendous suicides, but you know what you’re going to have more than anything else? Drug addiction.” Trump is saying those self distancing or are alone may kill themselves than continue on.
  • “I said, ‘It would be a great thing, if we could do it by Easter.'” Trump backing away from him wanting to have the virus finished off by Easter but on March 24th on Fox News he said “I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.” [Note that it will take more than a day for businesses to be back to normal – could be weeks in some cases.]
  • “But I didn’t say that. I didn’t say that.” When Trump was said “if they don’t treat you right, I don’t call” about the nation’s governors last week. But he did say it. In other words, if a governor isn’t nice to him, he won’t call them. Petty.
  • “I mean, I know insurance companies better than anybody.” We know that.
  • “You didn’t hear me. That’s why you used to work for the Times and now you work for somebody else. Look, let me tell you something: Be nice. Don’t be threatening.” After a reporter who left the NY times [not fired] to join PBS asked a question that Trump called threatening [but no one else did] and the media is supposed to be unbiased towards him and not “nice”.

From mayhem at the G6 plus 1 to a summit with many unanswers

….. What a week!

Republican and Democratic leaders aren’t quite celebrating Donald Trump’s historic meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, saying the initial agreement they struck won’t mean much unless the North completely denuclearizes. The agreement on the North Korean side seems more like a pledge. Trump agreed to stop military maneuvers with South Korea and remove the US military from there as well but no other details. The 28,500 personnel would return home and Trump claims this is to save money.

Seems nothing was done with North Korea’s human rights records where for the simplest crime, it can send you to as gulag for years. Or shot at a firing squad or even blown up [the former is what he did to his own uncle].

Is Trump doing this to show he did something that no US leader in the last 60+ years could do and/or to increase his chances of getting a Nobel Peace Prize. Seems his critics said he gave everything away and got nothing in return as North Korea has previously reneged on deals. The Trump-Kim agreement does not define what denuclearization would mean. Wonder, as well, if this is a way for the North Korea to invade as the South Koreans could be defenseless.

Trump called Un someone he can trust and talented… Sure. Even an invitation to invite Un to the White House.

At least one Republican, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., took a harsher stance at Trump’s “agreement” with Kim Jun Un: “While I know @potus is trying to butter him up to get a good deal, #KJU is NOT a talented guy,” Rubio tweeted. “He inherited the family business from his dad & grandfather. He is a total weirdo who would not be elected assistant dog catcher in any democracy.”

At the G7, Trump said that his relationships with other Western leaders are perfect [this prior to the end of the summit]. Fat chance on that. Implementing tariffs, leaving trade pacts, leaving security pacts. He also insisted that the Quebec summit had been “tremendously, tremendously successful” despite accusing other nations of using the United States as a “piggy bank.”

Trump rescinded his support for a closing communique he had endorsed only hours earlier. This is because Trump clearly took offence to comments made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who let Trump have it at his own news conference closing the event. Why was Trump upset with the comments made by Trudeau: “Canadians, we’re polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around.”

Trump had left the summit early [and he showed up at the Saturday morning talks late], supposedly to get to Singapore early for him meeting with Kim Jun Un.  But he may have also left early because the last topics weren’t to his taste: environment and climate control.

It wasn’t just Trudeau who spoke after left. Trudeau’s comments were made before, during and after the summit – even to Trump in private meetings. Did this really upset Trump or maybe Trump felt he wasn’t the big winner at the summit [for his ego]. While Trudeau did it at a press conference, Trump’s remarks were on [of course] Twitter where no real reports can question him. Coward.

As for the communique, all seven leaders had agreed to what it said. To rescind it later for something another leaders said and not the contents of the communique is childish.
After saying that they are close to a deal in NAFTA, there are some hints that this spat could even halt or slow down the talks. Seriously?

Trump even said at one point that his relationship with the other leaders is “a 10”. This was before his Twitter comments and reneging on the communique.

Peter Navarro, a trade adviser to Trump, said “There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door.” Great diplomacy there Peter.  Hilariously, Navarro said Trump “did the courtesy to Justin Trudeau to travel up to Quebec for that summit” and that Trump had “bigger things on his plate” than the G7 meeting. What leader has never attended a G7 summit? Navarro late did apologize.

Trump, in a tweet, asked why the US should allow countries to continue to make “massive trade surpluses,” asserting that it is “not fair to the people of America” and that the US is suffering under a “$800 billion trade deficit.” Whining again. Does he know economics? Would other countries’ leaders be whining about this subject? The US is a country that needs more resources than sales. In some cases, those resources are cheaper to bring in from elsewhere than manufacture domestically.

“Germany pays 1% (slowly) of GDP towards NATO, while we pay 4% of a MUCH larger GDP. Does anybody believe that makes sense? We protect Europe (which is good) at great financial loss, and then get unfairly clobbered on Trade. Change is coming!” Didn’t he say changes were coming last year?

Trump has whined about the tariffs protecting the Canadian industry when he forgets [or did he] that his government gives the US industry $22 billion in subsidies.

France and Germany have criticized Trump for threatening to pull the United States out of a joint statement with key G7 allies. This picture says it all.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made clear her disquiet with Trump’s policies, arguing that Germany may no longer be able to rely on its US ally. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said “It’s actually not a real surprise. We have seen this with the climate agreement or the Iran deal. In a matter of seconds, you can destroy trust with 280 Twitter characters.”

Following the G7, Trump suggested that Russia be allowed back into the global group despite their continued occupation of Crimea. “I would say that the G8 is a more meaningful group than the G7, absolutely,” Trump said. “You’ll have to ask Obama, because he was the one that let Crimea get away” he said when asked about the annexation. “He allowed Russia to take Crimea. I may have had a much different attitude.”

This comments is sort of the equivalent of a mass murderer getting pardoned because it happened a couple of years ago and not on his “watch”. The other G7 counties [except Italy] plus the European Union do not want Russia to be back in the group as long as Crimea is in Russia’s hands.

The European Union backed a Group of Seven declaration that Trump abruptly left. European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas added that EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker thanked Trudeau “for the excellent preparation and chairing of this challenging summit.” British Prime Minister Theresa May also went out of her way to thank her Canadian counterpart “for his leadership and skilful [sic] chairing” of what she called “a difficult summit with at times some very candid discussions.”

Trump told French President Emmanuel Macron during their recent meeting in Washington that there are too many German cars in the United States. The source did not say that Trump explicitly said he wanted all German-made cars out of the US.

Trump declared he thinks the Russia probe is “very biased” and has reservations about being interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller, raising more questions on whether he will consent to an interview as part of the investigation. Not even a month ago he said he wanted to be interviewed. He [of course] didn’t say what changed his mind – if anything – but he changes his mind as often the stock market index changes.

Trump’s comments came a day after the Justice Department watchdog released a report critical of how former FBI Director James Comey handled the 2016 Hillary Clinton email probe. The report contained messages from FBI agents who spoke critically of Trump. Unsure how you equate FBI agents and a separate investigation by Mueller who isn’t even using FBI agents. The report didn’t find evidence that political bias influenced the investigation of Clinton’s email practices prior to the election.

Trump sought to further discredit the probe, saying the “problem with the Mueller investigation is everybody’s got massive conflicts.” And he doesn’t? He reiterated his longstanding contention there was no collusion between his campaign and Russians and the report exonerates him. He has said this before. The report isn’t really about him directly.

Trump tweeted “I worked hard on this, along with a Great Team of talented people” when asked about the US co-hosting the winning bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. He sent signed letters [I’m sure written by someone else] to the FIFA President Gianni Infantino. Then he spoiled things by saying “Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?” to those nations that did vote for the Canada/Mexico/US bid.

There is talk of a bipartisan bill where announcements of tariffs would be removed from a president’s hands and to Congress.

Woops. EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is in trouble again. It seems and aide and donors used their pull to find a job for Pruitt’s wife. When will he lose his?

Trump, it seems, broke a[nother] law. White House aides realized earlier on that they could not stop Trump from tearing up papers he must preserve to stay in line with the Presidential Records Act. So to avoid clashing with the law, some staffers have taped his pieces back together like a jigsaw puzzle. The Presidential Records Act requires presidential records be preserved and transferred to the National Archives. [The same act says tweets can’t be deleted.]

Trump hit back at Robert De Niro, calling him a “very low IQ individual,” after the Oscar-winning actor’s expletive-laden attack on the American president on live television for the Tony Awards. The network has a delay – so most Americans didn’t hear what Bobby said. Trump said he had watched the clip “and (I) truly believe he may be punch drunk.” I would guess prior to this De Niro is/was one of Trump’s favorite actors.

Fox News criticized former President Obama for his willingness to “talk to dictators.” Now, conservative media praises Trump’s work with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The Trump administration is creating an office within the agency that grants US citizenship to root out fraudsters and have their citizenship taken away. The targets are people who have already been rejected from the US, but who create a new identity to gain citizenship afterward. A 2016 Homeland Security Department Inspector General report found that at least 858 people had been given US citizenship despite having been deported under a different identity, because their fingerprints had not been in the system.

Congressional Republicans distanced themselves from the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border, even as the White House cited the Bible in defending its “zero tolerance” approach to illegal border crossings. “I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law. That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible,” said White House press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders.

When a reporter asked about her “very biblical” remark, Sanders suggested he was taking her words out of context, adding: “I know it’s hard for you to understand, even short sentences, I guess.” She sounds like her boss.

Trump accuses the Democrats of causing the problem with the separated children but he refuses to sign any bills that would fix the problem since he entered office. There are at least 2000 children separated from their parents in a period of 7 weeks. Yet the policy of separating children began this April.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will await his trial for foreign lobbying charges from jail. Two weeks after Robert Mueller’s prosecutors dropped new accusations of witness tampering on him, US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson revoked Manafort’s bail, which allowed him out on house arrest. Trump tweeted after ” Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob.” Yes. Trump is a mob boss.

Last week, Mueller’s team alleged they found evidence Manafort had tried to tell possible witnesses in his case to lie about their lobbying efforts under him in the US. The witness tampering allegations, which also resulted in new criminal charges, were enough for him to lose his house arrest privileges.

China accused the United States of firing the first shot when the White House said that it would impose tariffs of 25% on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. The Chinese government said it would respond in kind to the US tariffs, which will apply to roughly 1,100 exports and will target China’s aerospace, robotics, manufacturing and auto industries.

Beijing will impose tariffs on 545 US items worth $34 billion [same amount as the first wave of American tariffs] starting on July 6. Tariffs on the remaining 114 items will start later.

Trump endorsed GOP Senate candidate Corey Stewart, a candidate who the National Republican Senate Committee is refusing to endorse for his extreme views.

With this busy week, looks like I will add another posting early next week!

 

 

Trump, the big baby, strikes again

pacf

So Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not stroke Donald Trump’s ego by thanking him as the exalted one, a true art of the deal expert, blah, blah, blah. So what does cry baby Trump do? Whines that Trudeau didn’t play nice and cancels the G7 statement.

Everything was agreed in the statement by the leaders, nothing was changed. So Trump, like a big baby, reneges on the statement and calls Trump names saying Trudeau made comments after he left the summit in Quebec.

Well it was Trump that left early and Trudeau had made the same comments [nothing earth shattering] to Trump and the public. before, during and after the summit.

 

 

 

 

 

Trump at the G6 + 1 plus other mayhem

So the big G7 summit is on in a town north of Quebec City [in Canada] and already there are problems at the G7. No not protester but a protester. Donald Trump has decided not to attend most of the Saturday sessions because he engaged in a bitter back-and-forth with French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over Twitter.

Trump was questioning why he would attend a G7 meeting where he’s outnumbered on key issues like trade and climate change. Some had already nicknamed it “G6 + One” [He’s the “One”] This is in reference to the days where Russia was invited but not quite a full member.

Coincidently, he is skipping sessions on climate change and the environment. He doesn’t believe in them – so no real loss there. An aide will take his place – which means some nobody.

Supposedly Trump said he needs the extra time to prepare for his North Korean meeting. But just days before he said he didn’t. As well, why would you agree to a meeting so close to the G7 summit?

Anyone surprised that Trump showed up at the G7 Summit later than expected?
Just prior to the beginning of the summit, Trump used the social media platform to accuse Canada of charging US customers with astronomical tariffs on dairy products.

“Tey didn’t tell you that, did they? Not fair to our farmers!,” Trump whined like a little girl on Twitter. [Apologies to the little girls out there.] A few hours later, he added, “Take down your tariffs & barriers or we will more than match you!”

He also accused that his host, Trudeau, is being “indignant.” Trudeau fought back saying “I’ve been firm, I’ve been clear, but I don’t think descending into insults is right for the way Canada engages with the world.”

Republican Sen. John McCain and former Vice President Joe Biden both blasted President Trump’s suggestion that Russia should be re-admitted to the G7. Russia’s membership suspended in 2014 after a majority of countries allied against Russia’s annexation of Crimea, which Russia continues to hold.

Trump asserted an “absolute right” to pardon himself of any federal crimes but said he has no reason to do so because he has not engaged in any wrongdoing. “As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?” Trump wrote on Twitter. He did not name any numerous legal scholars. Legal scholars differ on the issue of whether a president can pardon himself.

“He probably does,” said Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani if Trump has the ability to pardon himself. ‘He has no intention of pardoning himself, but he probably – not to say he can’t.” That’s not a definite answer.

Unsure if Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani ever really went to law school [or maybe he’s just losing it]. Giuliani said in an interview that Trump’s presidential power extends so far that “in no case can he be subpoenaed or indicted. … I don’t know how you can indict while he’s in office. No matter what it is.” Giuliani also said that hypothetically Trump could have shot the former FBI director James Comey to end the Russia investigation and not face prosecution for it while in office.

Giuliani also said that President Trump “probably” has the power to pardon himself, but has no intention of doing so. Already experts are saying that is probably something that can’t be done. Some are claiming as chief law enforcement officer [is that even valid?] he has the right to do it.

As well, Trump should face no legal liability for his actions including the firing of Comey even though it would be an obstruction of justice.

Former President Richard Nixon took steps to examine the question during the Watergate scandal only to see his own Justice Department advise him that he could not do so on the grounds that “no one may be a judge in his own case.” So is Trump any different?

Giuliani might have inadvertently tipped his hand when he said that Trump should not testify before special counsel Robert Mueller because “our recollection keeps changing.”
In 2000, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel issued a memo concluding that the job of the President is so important that he has effective immunity from being indicted and criminally prosecuted while in office. The Supreme Court, however, has not definitively resolved the question.

Giuliani’s comments came less than 24 hours after the revelation that the president’s legal team argued in a confidential January memo to Mueller that Trump could not have obstructed an FBI probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election because, as president, he has total control over all federal investigations.

Sen. Ted Cruz was speechless for 18 seconds before sidestepping a question from a reporter about whether Trump can pardon himself.

Giuliani denied that the disclosure by Trump’s attorneys that Trump dictated a crucial statement on the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting — a reversal from past denials — constituted a lie, instead claiming it was a routine mistake.

Giuliani said that Mueller’s team includes “13 highly partisan Democrats … (who) are trying very very hard to frame him to get him in trouble when he hasn’t done anything wrong.”

Mueller’s Special Counsel’s Office has accused Paul Manafort of attempting to shape potential witnesses’ testimony and has asked to send him to jail as he awaits his trial, according to a filing in DC District Court. Prosecutors accused Manafort and one of his associates of repeatedly contacting two witnesses in an attempt to get them to lie about the nature of work he directed on behalf of Ukrainian interests.

Manafort is currently out on house arrest and a $10 million unsecured bail, and is awaiting a trial in Virginia scheduled for late July and a trial in DC scheduled to begin in September.

Trump tweeted “As only one of two people left who could become President, why wouldn’t the FBI or Department of ‘Justice’ have told me that they were secretly investigating Paul Manafort (on charges that were 10 years old and had been previously dropped) during my campaign?” Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg responded by tweeting “Donald, Nice selective memory. … You hired Paul because you were losing the delegate fight during the primary. If you stuck with Lewandowski, you wouldn’t have been the nominee. You’re lucky Paul worked for you.”

Prosecutors have filed a new indictment against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort that also names as a defendant Konstantin Kilimnik, a close business colleague of Manafort’s who prosecutors have said has close ties to Russian intelligence.

Giuliani says Trump’s decision to initially cancel a summit brought North Korea’s Kim Jong Un to “his hands and knees” to beg to reschedule the meeting.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is breaking with Trump, agreeing with others who say there’s no evidence that the FBI planted a “spy” in Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign in an effort to hurt his chances at the polls. Both Ryan and House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy attended a classified briefing last month following reports that the FBI used an informant in its Russian election meddling investigation to speak to members of the Trump campaign who had possible connections to Russia. Gowdy said afterward that the FBI was doing its duty.

Trump and Trudeau had a testy phone call on May 25 over new tariffs imposed by the Trump administration targeting steel and aluminum imports coming from Canada, including one moment during the conversation in which Trump made an erroneous historical reference.

Trudeau pressed Trump on how he could justify the tariffs as a “national security” issue. In response, Trump quipped to Trudeau, “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” referring to the War of 1812 [the White House was burned down in 2014]. The problem with Trump’s comments to Trudeau is that British troops burned down the White House during the War of 1812.

Trump has hinted at bilateral talks between the US and Canada and the US and Mexico instead of the North American Free Trade Agreement. But both Mexico and Canada want the trilateral agreement. Canadian officials confirm that months ago Trump personally assured Trudeau that Canada would likely be exempt from steel and aluminum tariffs. So another lie by Trump.

Trudeau has publicly denounced the “national security” justification for the new tariffs. “The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is, quite frankly, insulting and unacceptable,” said Trudeau.

Trump has repeatedly said he would never and should never have hired attorney general Jeff Sessions, called him “beleaguered,” “very weak” and “disgraceful,” and reportedly refers to the former Alabama senator as “Mr. Magoo”. At a FEMA briefing in which Trump and a number of his Cabinet officials were seated around a table, Trump when on and on praising each cabinet member on their job performance except Sessions who he said “Thank you, Jeff. Thank you very much.”

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt had a top aide seek a used mattress from the Trump International Hotel [unsure if actually received or paid] and perform other personal chores for him, including house-hunting and booking personal travel to a football game [supposedly paid $130 for a ticket where organization pay millions].

Federal ethics rule prohibit supervisors from directing their subordinates to carry out personal errands. Since arriving at EPA last year, the aide’s government salary jumped from $48,000 to $114,590. The aide has since resigned her position.

The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles’ White House visit has been canceled due to the controversy over standing for the National Anthem at NFL games, Trump announce. Many players from the team were not planning on attending the ceremony as a protest of Trump, his policies and his outspoken criticism of players who chose to kneel during the anthem. In response to Trump’s announcement, former Eagles receiver Torrey Smith called the move “a cowardly act.”

“The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow,” Trump said in a statement. “They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better.”

“If it wasn’t a political stunt, they wouldn’t have planned to attend the event and backed out at the last minute,” White House press Secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders said. White House blames “political stunt by the Eagles franchise”. Errr. No. Trump canceled the visit.

Fox News apologized after receiving a torrent of criticism over the network’s use of photos of various players for the Philadelphia Eagles kneeling in prayer, creating the misleading impression that they were demonstrating during the national anthem. The photos ran during a segment on the previous night, after Trump announced that he had uninvited the reigning Super Bowl champions from a traditional visit to the White House.

Trump said he wants to meet with NFL players and other athletes who kneel during the National Anthem so they can recommend people they think should be pardoned due to unfair treatment by the justice system.

Trump said he won’t be asking basketball stars LeBron James and Stephen Curry or their respective teams, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, to the White House after the NBA Finals. James, who has called Trump a “bum” in the past, said “no matter who wins this series, no one wants the invite,” which Curry agreed with.

“I didn’t invite Lebron [sic] James and I didn’t invite Steph Curry. We’re not going to invite either team, but we have other teams that are coming,” Trump said. The conference final losers? The NHL’s Washington Capitals are invited [for now] even though some players have hinted they may not go. Unlike the NFL and NBA, many of the players in the NHL [including the Capitols] have a big chunk of their rosters filled with Canadians and Europeans.

Trump used Twitter this week to mark his 500th day in office. In an earlier tweet, he said he had “accomplished a lot – many believe more than any President in his first 500 days.” The president ticked off a series of accomplishments, including “Best Economy & Jobs EVER.” Who are the many?

After Trump pardoned Alice Johnson, who probably shouldn’t of received the sentence she got [Trump did something right!] and there are talks of further pardons. The wife of Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying about his Russian contacts, asked Trump to grant him a pardon. Right after maybe the family of Jesse James?

Trump seems to be on a pardon roll. He wants to pardon Muhammad Ali even though the athlete’s attorney said that is “unnecessary” because the Supreme Court overturned his previous conviction.

Trump suggested that a main reason the US Coast Guard was so busy rescuing people during Hurricane Harvey was that people were watching the storm on boats. The Coast Guard “saved 16,000 people, many of them in Texas, for whatever reason that is,” in a comment he said at FEMA. Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott told reporters he had “no information one way or another about” the President’s claim. One report says nearly 12,000 but that is with all agencies involved.

Trump is congratulating Republican John Cox for his second-place finish in California’s primary for governor, saying the “Trump impact was really big” and predicting a possible “big Red Wave” of Republican wins. He’s joking. Right? Cox still faces long odds in a state where Democrats are increasingly dominant.

The US Air Force has canceled a $24 million [yes, that much] contract for new refrigerators for Trump’s presidential jet. It was a sole-source contract. The Air Force awarded Boeing a $23.6 million contract to replace two of the five “cold chiller units” aboard the aircraft used by Trump.

Quietly, Kelly Sadler, the White House communications aide who made a imprudent comment about Republican Sen. John McCain’s health, was let go nearly a month after making the insensitive remark. Typical Trump administration tactics.

After Melania Trump finally showed up in public after taking about 3 weeks off for a kidney operation and recuperation, Trump tweeted that during his wife’s recovery, “they reported everything from near death, to facelift, to left the W.H. (and me) for N.Y. or Virginia, to abuse.” Of course, this is probably unlikely to be true. I heard nothing about these comments. Did you? [If Sanders did her actual job, she would of announced that Melania went in for an operation and what kind instead of all the suggestions of where she was.]

Giuliani told an audience that he does not think first lady Melania Trump believes that Trump had an affair with Stormy Daniels. He doesn’t think. As well “… a woman who sells her body for sexual exploitation I don’t respect,” Giuliani said. “Tell me what damage she suffered. Someone who sells his or her body for money has no good name.”

“Mr. Giuliani is an absolute pig for making those comments, he’s basically stating that women that engage in the adult film industry and other forms of pornography don’t have reputations and are not entitled to respect,” replied Daniel’s lawyer Michael Avenatti. Avenatti wants Giuliani fired for his comments.

Colin Kaepernick’s legal team is expected to seek subpoenas for Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other campaign officials relating to the quarterback’s collusion case against the NFL. The new move intends to explore NFL owners’ ties with Trump adding that several owners, as well as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, have already been deposed in the case.

With all the talk from Trump on saving or creating jobs in the US, his administration backtracked on ZTE from China [after a $1 billion fine plus some changes] which saves Chinese jobs and maybe a few in the US.

Another typical Trump week

The Justice Department warned the Trump administration last month that Michael Flynn misled administration officials regarding his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States and was potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians. Flynn would later apologized.

The concern was raised after Flynn claimed he did not discuss with the Russian ambassador the sanctions being imposed by the Obama administration in retaliation for Russia’s interference in the election. Flynn was not yet in government. Flynn spoke to the ambassador on the same day Barrack Obama announced sanctions for Russia meddling in the US elections.

The message was delivered by then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Other top intelligence officials, including James Clapper and John Brennan, were in agreement the White House should be alerted about the concerns.

The chief of the propaganda department, Kellyanne Conway, stated just hours before Flynn’s resignation that Trump had full confidence of his National security adviser. So who was right?

Spicer first said Flynn was fired by Trump and then said Flynn resigned. Spicer blamed the Department of Justice for sitting so long even though Trump knew of Flynn’s mistake for almost 3 weeks. Flynn himself had the shorted time as National Security Advisor at 24 days – typical average is 2.5 years.

Just six days into his presidency, Donald Trump was informed his national security adviser had misled his vice-president about contacts with Russia. Trump kept his No. 2 in the dark and waited nearly three weeks before ousting the aide, Michael Flynn, citing a slow but steady erosion of trust, White House officials said.

Trump slammed intelligence officials and the media over what he called “very, very unfair” treatment of his ousted national security adviser Flynn. How else do you treat him. In addition, so he is again criticizing the CIA, NSA and others – the same departments that he just recently praised. I’m sure he is not going after the right wing media as they seem to be the only media he will take questions from.

Trump also accused holdovers from the Obama administration of leaking out information about his alleged contacts with Moscow to hammer his administration. No proof, of course.

“The fake news media is going crazy with their conspiracy theories and blind hatred.” He added that the news reporting was “merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign.” She lost 3 months ago. Get over it. You think they’ll still be covering up things in 2 years?

Meanwhile, Trump also wants to go after the people who leaked the documents that got Flynn sacked. Of course we know that nothing will ever come out of it because there will not be any investigation. It will just be another part of Trump’s arsenal where he can whine about, to reflect blame, etc.

Ret. Vice Adm. Bob Harward turned down Trump’s offer to be national security adviser replacing Flynn.

As well, the FBI is not expected to pursue any charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn regarding a phone call with Russia’s ambassador, barring new information that changes what they know.

Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the foreign affairs committee at the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, said that firing Flynn for his contacts with Russia is “not just paranoia but something even worse.” I guess they wanted him so he can be blackmailed.

Conway got a verbal spanking when she promoted Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. One of the rules state that senior government employees cannot promote and product. Conway was pushing Ivanka’s brand after the Nordstrom shopping chain dropped her brand. Normally anyone who violates the rule is let go. She wasn’t.

At his news conference Trump claimed he had the “biggest Electoral College win since Reagan”. Nope. President Obama won 332 electoral votes in 2012 and 365 in 2008. President Clinton got 379 in 1996 and 370 in 1992. The first President Bush received 426 in 1988. Trump couldn’t even get his total right. He said 306 when he got 302. Can’t remember 3 long months ago?

He also claimed that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had “set a record” of being overturned by the Supreme Court 80% of the time. In fact, the Supreme Court overturned 87% of the cases by the 6th Circuit Court and 85% by the 11th Circuit during the same period.

A year ago candidate Trump was whining that Boeing would close their South Carolina plant and move it to China. The plant is still there and Trump is there to tell Boeing to add more jobs.

After hiring 6 foreign workers in December, Trump Vineyard Estates LLC [owned by son Eric] wants to hire another 23 foreign workers. Here’s another kicker. The winery is using H-2 visa program – when allowed to bring in foreign workers when no American workers can do the job. Huh? You bring in someone high in the scientific field for a H-2 visa. Not someone to pick grapes or drive a tractor.

Andrew Puzder withdrew his nomination as Labour Secretary because of his past. Quite a few Republicans wouldn’t approve of his nomination.

In a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump said that he’d like to see the U.S. Embassy in Israel moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but noted that “we’re looking at it with great care.” That sounds a bit more like a bit of a reversal of his election campaign where he said he would move the embassy if elected. Another campaign promise out the window.

Supposedly, Trump may have blabbed about some top secret information at a supper he was at [I would assume with some people who didn’t have a proper level of clearance]. No. It wasn’t at McDonalds.

Trump said that he will do “everything within our power to stop long-simmering racism.” Problem is that the right [who voted him in] is more known to be anti-Semitic, anti-Islam and just racist than the left [think Fascism, KKK, etc.] Trump notes that he won 306 [not 302] electoral votes and fostered “tremendous enthusiasm” during his campaign. But some ugliness also appeared during his campaign and even now.

Trump his still using his unsupported [and outdated] Samsung Galaxy S3 [not made in the US, BTW] for his tweeting and Email. He is using it even though he was given a more secure phone to use. Two US senators have filed a letter [complaint?] to the US Department of Defense Secretary.

“I do get good ratings”, Trump said at a rare news conference. He’s looking for TV ratings?

“I inherited a mess. It’s a mess. At home and abroad, a mess.” Huh? It’s only a mess since he became the Commander in Tweet.

Trump continues to invent things that didn’t exist or was incorrect. Trump is even posting on Instagram with a quote from Abe Lincoln that were never attributed to Lincoln. And it wasn’t surprising that already someone investigated the quote.

Spicer said the recent Yemen raid was “obviously a huge success” and that “anyone who suggests it was not a success does a disservice” to William “Ryan” Owens, the Navy SEAL who was killed during the mission. That turned heads. Using his death for political reasons.

Recently, Spicer was scrutinized for saying, on three separate occasions over two days, that there was an unspecified terror attack in Atlanta. There wasn’t. They were in Orlando.

It seems that even Trump “is disappointed in Spicer’s performance during the first two weeks of the administration.” I’m sure both will deny that.

Spicer has repeatedly called for individual journalists to apologize for mistakes. Many of the White House correspondents aren’t too happy with him from day one.

Joining the Department of Propaganda is Stephen Miller. He claimed that Trump has done more in his 3 weeks of office than most presidents in their entire term.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau visited Trump this past week. Seems that Trump feels the portion of the NAFTA deal with Canada won’t be tweaked/modified much compared to the US/Mexico portion of the deal.

Trudeau did get big brownie points when he presented a framed picture of Trump with Justin’s father [Pierre Elliot Trudeau] at a gala in 1981 when Trump spoke as the elder Trudeau was awarded a family man of the year award in New York. In addition Trump also got a Canadian made sculpture with the rock itself coming from Cleveland.

Spicer called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Joe Trudeau. A few cartoon images have since appeared.

joe_trudeau

Of the 19 hijackers in the 9/11 attacks, 15 were from Saudi Arabia, two were from the United Arab Emirates, one was from Egypt, and one was from Lebanon. Yet none of these countries were listed in the executive order. With the exception of Lebanon, Trump has business interests in all those other countries plus Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Woops. At least 6 players of the Super Bowl winners, New England Patriots, are saying they will not visit the white House and Trump. The Patriots’ owners a good friend of Trump. See if he changes any mind.

Do leaders deserve a day off?

Today, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decided that, while on a business and G7 trip in Japan, to take the day off from “work” so he can spend the day with his wife for their 11th anniversary.

[The anniversary isn’t until Saturday but I think it is more interesting to take the day off in Japan than to do it in Winnipeg when he is at the party’s convention [and the actual anniversary date]! Right?]

As the leader of the Canadian government, he is technically working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during his term.

At last check, other world leaders are doing the same thing.

I really don’t see the American public complain when US President Barack Obama takes a week off in Hawaii. You think Obama was ever not interrupted for some crisis for 24 hours straight?

I really don’t think it is penny pinching either as Trudeau is paying for him and his wife’s day [travel, food, etc.].

But in one non-scientific poll, at least 20% said they aren’t happy. About 40% said he should pay – which he is doing.

And yet some in the public says he shouldn’t get a day off.

As mentioned before, he is “on call” 24 hours a day. He could be waken at 3:30am because of an important situation. He may be interrupted on his day off for something.

Some will complain what his staff will do while he is off. They get paid just like anyone else. They can prepare for the upcoming days. When a manager at a company takes a day or a week off, does the manager’s people do nothing while the manager is out? No.

I would guess that some who are complaining are doing so just because their Prime Minister candidate did not get elected in the last election.

 

A brief synopsis of Canada’s 42nd election

So on Monday, Canada went and voted in a general election, the 42nd one in the history of the country.

This was the longest campaign in over 100 years lasting 78 days. The then governing Conservative Party took a [slight] gamble because they had way more money in their coffers than the two other major parties, the Liberals and the New Democratic Party [NDP].

It backfired.

Since the beginning, the Conservative Party was aiming their attack ads at the Liberal Party’s inexperienced party leader Justin Trudeau [son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau].  Trudeau is in his early 40s and had little political or business professional experience prior to going into politics 7 years ago.

Meanwhile, they weren’t attacking the New Democrats who during the first half of the campaign was gaining steam. For a huge part of the campaign there was just a few percentage points difference between them. Everything was pointing towards a minority government.

Then the debates started. The conservatives forced the other parties not to use Canada wide media for the debates but media that wasn’t available in many areas.

While doing this didn’t backfire, Trudeau showed he can play with the “bigger [older?] boys” and he did very well in each debate while the others didn’t shine.

Trudeau’s election policies were honest. He did not use attack ads but if he did attack, they were sparingly. He announced a deficit will be expected in the first 3 years while the other two claimed a balanced budget would be obtainable. For the NDP, it would probably be impossible with the spending announcements they would do while running the government.

The Conservatives kept on going after Trudeau for a deficit, which economists determined to be laughable because it was so small compared to the actual budget. They also claimed to roll back or remove various benefits such as income splitting [again economists claimed under 17% of the population would use it].

Various other issues cropped up during the campaign such as using the Niqab for official issues [such as voting or citizen swearing in ceremonies], ISIs and Syria, the economy, and the various political scandals.

As the election went into the final week, the Liberals began to go ahead of the pack, just short of the majority number of seats needed with the NDP dropping into third.

Came Election Day, it didn’t look good for the governing Conservatives. As the polls slowly came in from the Atlantic Provinces, it started to look grim for the Conservatives. A clean sweep of all 32 seats [where the Conservatives had 12 seats in 2011].

Then came Quebec. In 2011, the NDP came out of nowhere to take 59 seats out of 75. It wasn’t going to be the same as the Conservatives picked up a few seats, the separatist Bloc Quebecois got 10 and the Liberals took a huge chunk of seats.

In “Battleground Ontario” it was the same with the Liberals taking a big chunk with smaller chunks for the other two. Already, they probably had enough for a majority.

Next came the Prairie Provinces which the Liberals never did well. But they picked up a bunch of seats there including their first in Alberta in 50 years. The Conservatives dominated the Prairie Provinces but it wouldn’t be enough.

By the time voting was counted in British Columbia, it was all over.

In the end, with 338 seats [up from 308 in 2011], the Liberals grabbed 184 of them, the Conservatives dropped from a majority to 99 seats. The NDP went from official opposition to third place with 44 seats.

Very few expected a majority government but winning seats in specific riding helped even with about 38% of the popular vote. The voting turnout was about 68% – the most since 1993.