Trump was quietish this week – wow

Within hours, Donald Trump backtracked on various campaign issues. NATO, he said, is “no longer obsolete.” He backed down a threat to brand China a currency manipulator [was guilty of “rape” against the US economy]. Trump praised Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, whom he had previously pledged to replace when her term expires, and once accused of holding interest rates low as a political boost for former President Barack Obama.

White House press secretary Sean “Garlic” Spicer pointed to an interview with the Secretary General, where he indicated that NATO countries have been performing better in terms of their financial commitments. So it’s just about the money.

Paul Manafort’s [Trump’s former campaign chairman] finances and consulting work are drawing attention as Ukrainian officials try to determine whether he received improper payments as part of a corruption case into ex-President Victor Yanukovych—Manafort’s former client. US authorities also are investigating possible Ukrainian corruption and any role Manafort may have played in Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

For example, from 2006 to 2012, records show, Manafort and his wife Kathleen spent $12 million on four residential units in New York City, including a $3.7-million apartment in Trump Tower. They also bought a $2.7-million condominium in Alexandria, Va., and a $1.5-million house home in Palm Beach, Fla.

Trump is threatening not to reimburse health insurers for covering low income people as a way of forcing Democrats to the negotiating table on health care. “I don’t want people to get hurt,” Trump said in an interview. Sure. This will hurt people. It is unfair to do this to low incomers when it is a political issue. Meanwhile, cowardly, the Trump administration this time is negotiating without doing it in the public’s view.

Garlic was widely condemned for claiming that Adolf Hitler, who gassed millions of Jews during the Holocaust, did not use chemical weapons. Comparing the Nazi leader with Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Garlic told journalists during his regular press briefing at the White House: “We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War Two. You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.” He later apologized.

Trump tweeted in 2013 “What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.” Yet he bombed Syria twice in a week. No Congressional approval.

Moody’s Investor Service said earlier this year that the number of “distressed” retailers –those with cash problems and lots of debt that are facing strong competition — is at the highest rate since 2009. Some of the problems could be attributed to the economy or the administration. In addition Staples [in the US at least] wants a new owner.

Trump claims he was “the best baseball player in New York when I was young” in a book. Of course, this is Trump – the guy who exaggerates everything. In his narcissist ways, “he always wanted to hit the ball through people. He wanted to overpower them” even if they gave him the option to hit to the opposite field.

The surprisingly close results of a special election for a House seat in deep-red Kansas should serve as “a warning sign” to the GOP, Sen. Ted Cruz said. Trump had carried the Kansas district by 27 percentage points but on Tuesday, Republican Ron Estes only bested Democrat Jim Thompson for the seat previously represented by new CIA Director Mike Pompeo by 7 points.

Trump declared April to be National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. Tina Fey, who was hosting a telethon for the ACLU at the end of March, commented: “Earlier tonight, in what is surely an April Fools’ joke, the president proclaimed that next month (April) will be National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, so now we know what he gave up for Lent.”

In the 14 weeks since his inauguration, Trump has been at his Mar-a-Lago estate seven times.

The Trump administration said it will not release logs of White House visitors, breaking with a precedent set by the Obama administration and shrouding Trump’s activities in the West Wing in secrecy. The decision was made in light of the “grave national security risks and privacy concerns of the hundreds of thousands of visitors annually,” according to White House Communications Director Michael Dubke. Funny how the Obama and previous administrations had no issues. Maybe they don’t want to show “visitors” that have entered the White House but shouldn’t.

The Trump administration was sued this week by several watchdog groups seeking access to the records, which have not been released since Trump took office, insisting the records are actually the property of the Secret Service, which is subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

Meanwhile, the Democrats in Congress have also introduced legislation that would require the Trump administration to maintain and disclose the names of visitors at places aside the White House where he conducts business, including his private Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

The stock market had been on a nearly nonstop rip higher since Election Day on the belief that Trump and a Republican-led Congress will cut income taxes, loosen regulations for companies and institute other business-friendly policies. But now there are worries that the Trump White House may not be able to help businesses as much as once thought.

Sears and Kmart are just the latest U.S. retailers to jump ship on some Trump brand products.

Lawyers for Trump have sent not one, but two cease-and-desist letters to a website featuring his face being pawed by kittens, it is claimed. The person behind trumpscratch.com (be warned, not safe for work), a San Francisco teenager named Lucy, says she set the site up for a laugh, but was amazed to receive the letters from The Trump Organization informing her she was infringing the Trump trademark. Lucy has sold the domain to a UK organization, which has redirected it to another website featuring the name “Trump” – trumptytrump.com – a porn site. Lucy changed the name of the site to KittenFeed.com “But after changing, they still came at me,” she said.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi came to Washington to visit Trump. Seems the Commander in Chief still likes to cozy up to dictators and thugs who ignore democracy or human rights.

Trump slipped 220 spots in Forbes magazine list of the world’s richest billionaires to number 544 with an estimated $3.5 billion. Forbes attributed Trump’s drop to sluggishness in the Manhattan real estate market which is responsible for a disproportionate amount of his wealth.

The heavily pro-Trump Drudge Report is the third most-visited media site on the Internet (behind only ESPN and MSN [the automatic homepage for many PCs]), and is one of a small handful of sites to have broken the 1 billion hits per month mark.

Trump’s job approval rating has dropped to 37%, while 58% of Americans disapprove of his performance so far as president, new Gallup figures show.

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith said, “We really don’t quote [Conway] much anymore because, well, history,” as he reported on her explanation of “microwaves that turn into cameras.”

UPS announced that it will add Saturday delivery in the US, creating an estimated 6,000 new lower paying jobs in mostly delivery and distribution. I’m expecting to see Trump take credit for this.

Trump Hotels has planned to develop a $50 million property in downtown Dallas, using the organization’s new brand, Scion. The project is currently being developed with international investors and a Turkish businessman, Mukemmel “Mike” Sarimsakci, despite Sarimsakci’s history of lawsuits and tax trouble. Trump Organization had no signed agreement with Sarimsakci.

Yikes. The private account used by US Vice President Mike Pence when he was governor that was hacked was an AOL account. People still use AOL?

A White House statement congratulating ExxonMobil for increasing investment in Texas and Louisiana cribbed multiple lines from the oil giant’s statement as well as from ExxonMobil’s CEO without citation.

After the electronics ban for some Muslim countries, Royal Jordanian have they tweeted, “Stay tuned for more fun…” and “Every week a new ban”.

The Union for Concerned Scientists, Sierra Club and Earthjustice plan to jointly file a motion to intervene in a lawsuit filed by fossil fuel groups in March that asks the Environmental Protection Agency to delay or reconsider a rule that places more regulations on chemical plants. tHis was ordered by the Trump administration.

 

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And another week of Trump news

Donald Trump says he would implement a new immigration policy proposal under which the U.S. would stop issuing visas in any case where it cannot perform adequate screenings. Ummm. Usually governments do that already. Then he said it would be “extreme vetting” but offered little to no details.

Trump is also expected to propose creating a new, ideological test for admission to the country that would assess a candidate’s stances on issues like religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights. Wondering how fast that will be challenged in the courts.

An economic policy speech he delivered calling for lower corporate taxes and rolling back federal regulations – two areas which should greatly help his Trump Organization.

“My economic plan includes an across-the-board income tax reduction that helps EVERYONE, especially the middle class.” Tweeted Trump. I wonder how he is also expected to reduce the deficit if less taxes are coming in unless he cuts the budgets throughout the government and heavily.

Trump accuses Obama of being the “founder” of ISIS and Hillary Clinton its “co-founder”. Rudy Giuliani, still losing credibility, said “Before Obama, ISIS was an almost unknown, small little organization. … And here’s why it happened: because he withdrew the troops from Iraq.” Except, ISIS forming [but under different names] go back over 15 years. Giuliani is drinking the Trump Kool-Aid claiming the media is unfair [except Fox of course].

Trump tried to backtrack saying it was “sarcasm” but when he said it in interviews and rallies, for many it didn’t sound like sarcasm. Some right wing interviewers tried to ask him prior to the “sarcasm” comments whether he was joking [or otherwise]. He basically said he wasn’t.

Giuliani, promoting Donald Trump’s national security plan, said that in the “eight years before (President Barack) Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the United States.” Do the math. He forgot 9/11. A spokesman for the former mayor told The Associated Press later on that Giuliani was referring to a lack of major attacks during the remainder of George W. Bush’s term. Uh huh.

Trump continues to blame what he calls the “disgusting and corrupt media” for handing him problems instead of taking the blame for his dumb comments. I guess it won’t be easier for him from once the elections are over [either winning or losing] as he pissed off most of the media. I guess he thinks everyone is corrupt [but him]: media, Clinton, election system [well “rigged”], ……

Trump is blaming faulty interpretations and media bias for an uproar over his comments about the Second Amendment. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, losing credibility fast, defended Trump [some suspect he is in line for a cabinet post if Trump ever became President]. But House Speaker Paul Ryan, acting more like a politician and less like a buffoon, said: “It sounds like just a joke gone bad.”

Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort says Trump is continuing to raise millions of dollars while travelling to key battleground states — Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida — and remains personally “very connected”. But current polls says he is losing in those states.

When Manafort was asked on CNN about one of Trumps recent verbal errors, Manafort [like a good politician] tuned out on the question asked and when on a rant about Clinton.

The New York Times published a report alleging that millions in cash payments were designated for Paul Manafort by Ukrainian leaders during his time as a political consultant there. $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Manafort from [then-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich’s] pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012, according to Ukraine’s newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau. Manafort’s lawyer obviously denied the story.

A group of about 50 Republicans who have served in senior national security and foreign affairs positions in the White House have written a letter encouraging Americans not to vote for Donald Trump. “Mr. Trump lacks the character, values, and experience to be President.” Trump tried to fight back saying “I’m not going to hire these people; I don’t want these people.” I don’t think they wanted to be hired by him.

The possibility of a Clinton victory are compelling enough that dozens of worried Republicans gathered signatures recently for a letter urging the GOP chairman to stop helping Trump and focus on protecting vulnerable House and Senate candidates. I guess those candidates would prefer to save their own skin and not try to get a Republican President. Trump threatened to stop fundraising for the party if they do.

Many people are saying that Trump is using “Many people are saying…” in his speeches because it’s his way of announcing something without having any proof that what he is about to say is true. At least many people are saying that!

Late last year, Putin said that al Qaeda and IS were “actually a U.S. invention.” Putin said the rebels that the United States has armed have sometimes switched to join extremist groups in Syria like the Islamic State.

Trump was open to trying Americans suspected of terrorism at the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba. Asked specifically about U.S. citizens, Trump said he didn’t like that President Barack Obama and others wanted to try them in traditional courts rather than military commissions at Guantanamo Bay.

Unsubstantiated claims about Clinton’s health have gone from chatter on Twitter to an attack line by Trump. Without offering any evidence, Trump said that she “lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS [Islamic State] and all of the many adversaries we face”. Trump, 70, is almost two years older than Clinton and heftier. Last year, in a letter accompanied by test results, her personal doctor Lisa Bardack said “she is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as the president of the United States”. Some coverage comes from right wing media and The National Enquirer [the latter is always right – hah!].

Donald Trump said that Russian President Vladimir Putin won’t make a military move into Ukraine — even though Putin already has done just that, seizing the country’s Crimean Peninsula. I guess Trump already thought that Crimea is part of Russia. He also blames Obama for the Russians taking Crimea.

An interviewer pressed Trump on changes to the Republican platform removing calls for the provision of lethal weapons so the people of Ukraine can defend themselves, which Trump said he had nothing to do with – and yet he is the party’s leader. “Just so you understand, he said very nice things about me. But I have no relationship with him. I don’t — I’ve never met him,” said Trump. But in a November 2015 Republican primary debate, Trump had said of Putin: “I got to know him very well because we were both on ’60 Minutes,’ we were stalemates.” He’s losing his mind? How can you forget meeting a major foreign leader.

Trump claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin once called President Barack Obama “the N word.” There are no published reports to back up Trump’s claim about Putin’s use of the racially derogatory term.

Jeb Bush’s top adviser, Sally Bradshaw [a long-time GOP member], has left the Republican Party to become an independent, and says if the presidential race in Florida is close, she’ll vote for Hillary Clinton. She doesn’t want to vote for Trump.

After a scolding by Michael Bloomberg [former New York mayor], Trump claimed that Bloomberg’s last term was disastrous. And yet they did plenty of things together in those years including Bloomberg on hand for the beginning of the redevelopment of a golf course in The Bronx with Trump.

Trump is a spam-magnet, and appeared nearly 169 times as often in spam messages that use Hillary Clinton’s name. By June, Trump-themed lures jumped to 270 times the amount of Clinton-themed lures, and 34 times more than lures that used Trump and Clinton were used together as bait. In the run up to the Republican and Democratic national conventions in July, Trump lures remained more than 170 times more common than Clinton lures. Additionally, Trump-related spam volume increased, and the gap between Trump- and Clinton-related spam became more pronounced.

Melania Trump’s web site was taken down at one point. She claims it doesn’t reflect her business life. Others say because her academic credentials are not quite right.

In January, the USA Freedom Kids [3 pre-teenage girls] rocketed to viral fame after performing at a Donald Trump rally in Pensacola, Florida. The manager of the group intends to file a suit against the Trump campaign and said he had secured the legal services of lawyer Marc Shapiro. He said the Trump campaign did not honor an agreement to let the group set up a table to sell its CDs at a rally and then canceled a performance without explanation in Des Moines, Iowa, after the group made a “very lengthy odyssey” to do a set at a Trump event. USA Freedom Kids continue to perform and are set to release an album in six weeks but the new album will not feature “Freedom’s Call” – the song they performed.

A Virginia hotel is fighting back against Donald Trump after the GOP presidential nominee criticized the air conditioning — or lack thereof — at an event there. And he threatened to not pay his bill for the room — a frequent move by Trump’s companies when he says he receives inadequate service. The hotel spokesman said the air conditioning was working – blaming any supposedly lack of air conditioning on the over populated conference room and heat outside the building.

Reports published by USA Today and The Wall Street Journal in June found Trump’s companies were facing hundreds of claims that Trump has stiffed people he contracted with for decades.