Trump moves embassy and endorses Moore, opens more cans of worms

Donald Trump officially announced the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol. Despite urgent appeals from Arab and European leaders, The Pope and others and the risk of anti-American protests and violence, Trump declared that he was ending an approach that for decades has failed to advance the prospects for peace. He also for the first time personally endorsed the concept of a “two-state solution” for Israel and the Palestinians, provided both sides agree to it.

Trump claimed this move would actually push the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians for a two state solutions but this obviously won’t me the case. Many foreign affairs departments across the world have already warned those visiting Israel to avoid Muslim dominated areas in Israel and nearby.

Trump claimed that the previous Presidents failed to solve the impasse between the two sides. If so, it can also be said that his son-in-law has also failed as he was trying to kick start the peace talks. Trump will also claimed in future elections [such as the mid-term elections in 11 months] that he has fixed the problem – but in fact made it worse. Now the Muslim countries will trust the Trump administration even less.

Trump is probably trying to please the conservative evangelicals who don’t really care about Israel but instead want to make sure that their religious sites don’t fall in the hand of Muslims.

Trump also directed that the State Department begin the process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as required by U.S. law. Officials said, however, that the move will take years to complete. This was one of his few campaign promises that he has acted on.

“Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama” as Trump tweets and now endorses sexual harasser Moore for the senate seat for Alabama. “We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more. No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!” Or basically everything that has failed Trump in his first term.

So I guess it’s more important to have his vote than for being charged for harassment of women.

The White House announced that Trump will hold an event in Pensacola, Florida — just 25 miles from the Alabama border. But Trump still hasn’t campaigned for Moore [some nicknamed “Judge Pervert”] otherwise. Some endorsement.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell changed his tone on whether he thought Moore should be in the Senate, saying he would “let the people of Alabama make the call”. In November, McConnell said Moore should “step aside” and maybe even a write-in candidate. After that, Moore tweeted that it was McConnell who should bow out of politics, saying he “has failed conservatives and must be replaced.”

If Moore loses, then trump will just say that he had backed Luther Strange and not Moore. He will claim that he didn’t campaign with Moore [and yet he endorsed him].

The fact that Trump kept his distance only to support Moore in this past week [to an extent] probably because he can’t lose a senate seat which would make it even more difficult for him to pass any legislation.

Already, there are some senators [even Republicans] who threaten to start an ethics investigation if Moore somehow wins. Moore may barely step a foot or two in the Senate before he could be thrown out. In this case, another special election will be called and million was wasted on Moore’s election win.

At the Florence [Alabama] rally, in response to a question from one of the only African Americans in the audience — who asked when Moore thought America was last “great” — Moore acknowledged the nation’s history of racial divisions, but said: “I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another…. Our families were strong, our country had a direction.” At the same event, Moore referred to Native Americans and Asian Americans as “reds and yellows.”

“Look, it’s being proven we have a rigged system,” Trump said to the crowd supporting Moore at an event. Trump also called it a “sick system from the inside.” So he’s been in office for over 10 months, what has he done to fix the “rigged system”?

Moore is really out there. He believes that Barack Obama isn’t an American. As well ban Muslims from run in government because they will bring in Sharia Law. Muslims make up around 3% of the US. Be a long way for that to happen. Also add 9/11 happened because America strayed from God. He equates homosexuality with bestiality.

His spokeswoman, Janet Porter, is one of the worst spokesperson I’ve seen. Can’t seem to answer, doesn’t know the answer or goes way off topic. She defended him against accusations of sexual misconduct against teenage girls by arguing that the national media was ignoring the “group of non-accusers” who have not come forward with similar allegations against the former judge. Huh? We can assume Moore didn’t harass every woman in Alabama.

She also said “When we’re talking about Leigh Corfman [supposedly molested by Moore when she was 14], even her own mother said that her report to the Washington Post that her life spiraled out of control after this alleged incident, well actually the court records say differently.” Another huh? Hasn’t gone to court yet and the spiraling proves something happened during the “alleged” incident.

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who’s been adamantly opposed to Moore, posted a photo of a check for $100 with his signature on it that was addressed to Moore’s Democratic rival, Doug Jones.

Trump’s personal attorney, John Dowd, claims the President cannot be guilty of obstructing justice. Dowd isn’t a constitutional expert. “(The) President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under (the Constitution’s Article II) and has every right to express his view of any case.”

The new defense comes after a tweet from Trump’s account suggested the President knew former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn had lied to the FBI when he was fired in February, raising questions about whether Trump knew about Flynn’s lying before pressuring former FBI Director James Comey to let go of inquiries into Russian election meddling.

“Flynn lied and they destroyed his life,” Trump said. Well, didn’t he lie to the FBI? Was he supposed to get a medal?

At one point Dowd claimed he wrote what Trump said in a tweet [which sounds a bit odd] which could of brought Trump obstruction of justice if he said it but still could because Trump is basically approving what Dowd said.

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI,” in Trump’s tweet. “He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!” Dowd has said he drafted the tweet, but denied that it admitted obstruction.

Former Obama administration White House counsel Bob Bauer said “There is no express grant of immunity under the Constitution to protect the President who commits a felony.”

Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates tweeted a response as well: “The FBI is in ‘tatters’? No. The only thing in tatters is the President’s respect for the rule of law. The dedicated men and women of the FBI deserve better.”

Former Attorney General Eric Holder said “The FBI’s reputation is not in ‘tatters’. It’s composed of the same dedicated men and women who have always worked there and who do a great, apolitical job,” he tweeted. “You’ll find integrity and honesty at FBI headquarters and not at 1600 Penn Ave right now.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the panel is beginning to see “the putting together of a case of obstruction of justice” against Trump.

Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been working on an op-ed essay with a long-time colleague “assessed to have ties” to a Russian intelligence service, according to prosecutors. Court papers say Manafort and the colleague sought to publish the op-ed under someone else’s name and intended it to influence public opinion about his work in Ukraine.

Russian operatives tried to correspond with adviser Hope Hicks multiple times after Trump’s 2016 election, prompting the FBI to caution Hicks.

“I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party. But this decision is not about me. It’s about the people of Minnesota,” soon to be former Senator Franken said as he resigned after harassment accusations. Now who was he talking about?

Billy Bush says he decided to speak out after news reports indicated that Trump has been casting doubt on the authenticity of the so-called “Access Hollywood” tape. On the 12-year-old tape, which resurfaced in the final weeks of the presidential election campaign last year, Bush and Trump spoke profanely about women — and Trump bragged about sexual assault. Trump has already admitted he did what he said on the tape. He said this was merely engaging in “locker room talk” with Bush. So why deny it now?

Trump will undergo a physical examination early next year at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and allow doctors to release details of his medical evaluation, keeping with past precedent. This came a day after some questions were raised about the President’s health after he appeared to get a dry mouth and slurred his words toward the end of remarks he delivered. He also had similar issues in November.

Trump released a clean bill of health from his long time personal physician last year that was widely panned as laughable for lacking details and offering an over-the-top portrait of Trump’s health. For example, his doctor declared then that Trump “has had no significant medical problems” and called Trump’s blood pressure and lab results “astonishingly excellent.”

On the campaign trail, candidate Trump’s typical McDonald’s meal contained nearly a day’s worth of calories and sodium, almost double the recommended daily dose of saturated fat and 2.5 times the sugar he should eat in a day, according to US Dietary Guidelines. Trump’s typical order from McDonald’s, in a book written by Corey Lewandowski, consisted of “two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish and a chocolate malted.” But at least he didn’t eat the buns and seemed to choose diet Coke.

“Well I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the president,” skier Lindsey Vonn said recently. “I want to represent our country well. I don’t think that there are a lot of people currently in our government that do that.” Vonn revealed she wouldn’t accept an invitation to the White House if she were to win gold at Pyeongchang.

There are still [after 10.5 months] 34 vacancies key State Department posts and 11 pending confirmations and 18 confirmed ambassadors. For example, one confirmed in Central and South America, just a few in Africa, and one in South east Asia and none for Australia.

Of 43 Trump administration nominees in science-related positions — including two for Health and Human Services secretary — almost 60 per cent did not have a master’s degree or a doctorate in a science or health field, according to an Associated Press analysis. For their immediate predecessors in the Obama administration, it was almost the opposite: more than 60 per cent had advanced science degrees.

Even after 10 months with this administration, many still have yet to be filled. None of the seven Trump energy science-oriented nominees — including the undersecretary for science, who did research while in the U.S. Navy — has even a master’s degree in a science field.

Not quite the same, Trump’s Energy Secretary Rick Perry has a bachelor’s degree in animal science. Many of the 65 senate-confirmable positions that deal with science and environment, the Trump administration hasn’t nominated someone yet, including all four top positions at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

What in the world is going on with Trump? In two days, he tweeted just four times and all were very presidential-ish.

Twitter has changed its explanation as to why it did not delete three graphic anti-Muslim videos retweeted by Trump. “We mistakenly pointed to the wrong reason we didn’t take action on the videos from earlier this week,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in a tweet. The videos were first shared by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the far-right party Britain First.

“These videos are not being kept up because they are newsworthy or for public interest,” Twitter Support tweeted on Friday. “Rather, these videos are permitted on Twitter based on our current media policy.”

The House of Representatives approved along party lines legislation loosening gun regulations and allowing those with permits to carry concealed weapons to legally travel with those firearms to other states, a top priority of the National Rifle Association. I guess they are forgetting the previous mass shootings this past year.

Flynn pleads guilty, Trump feeling the heat

Donald Trump’s tweet about firing former national security adviser Michael Flynn is garnering a lot of attention from critics — with some calling it a possible admission of obstruction of justice.

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI,” Trump wrote. “He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!” The tweet immediately caught the attention of critics, who questioned whether Trump knew Flynn had lied to the FBI when the President asked then-FBI Director James Comey to let the investigation into Flynn go.

Then-transition adviser KT McFarland, who later became deputy national security adviser under Michael Flynn, who was on President Donald Trump’s transition team wrote in a December 29 email that Russia “has just thrown the USA election to him,” according to a report. A White House lawyer said that McFarland meant only that Democrats were painting Russia’s role in the election that way. Uh huh. Sure.

Jared Kushner is the “very senior member” of Trump’s transition team who directed incoming Flynn to contact the Russian ambassador to the United States and other countries about a UN Security Council vote on Israeli settlements in 2016.

Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia’s ambassador and disclosed that he is cooperating with the special counsel’s office. Flynn is the first person inside Trump’s administration to be reached by special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

Trump tweets “After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters – worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness.” Wasn’t Trump buddy buddy with Comey? Why did he keep Comey on as head of the FBI when he started his term?

Lobbying regarding the UN Security Council vote on Israeli settlements was a well-known and a collaborative effort by various transition officials including Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon, Flynn and Kushner. None of them “ordered” or “directed” the others and all were working towards the same goal of standing by Israel, one of the country’s greatest allies, as the President’s very public comments at the time made clear.

At this time Trump has yet to tweet [or comment] on Flynn or Kushner, but a White House official said only nice things about Flynn including that Trump is thinking of his family. [Knowing Trump’s history, he said no such thing.]

Seen in the open, you could hear some people yell say Flynn “Lock him up”. This after Flynn said the same thing about Hillary Clinton a year earlier.

Some are wondering if Trump may now decide to finally muzzle Mueller before the bleeding of the Trump administration really begins.

Special counsel Robert Mueller removed one of the FBI’s top Russian counterintelligence experts from his team of investigators after an internal investigation found messages he sent that could be interpreted as showing political bias for Hillary Clinton and against Trump.

Trump responded by tweeting “ANTI-TRUMP FBI AGENT LED CLINTON EMAIL PROBE Now it all starts to make sense!” Oh yes. A sole agent actually led the probe and not Mueller?

The Senate Republicans’ tax bill hangs in the balance, after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that GOP leaders grapple with how they can satisfy the conference’s deficit hawks. The Joint Committee on Taxation, the Congressional scorekeeper for tax bills, estimates that the Senate tax bill could generate enough growth to create nearly $408 billion in net new revenue over a decade. But even with that additional revenue, the bill would still add an estimated $1 trillion to deficits.

Trump tweets “Republicans Senators are working hard to pass the biggest Tax Cuts in the history of our Country. The Bill is getting better and better. This is a once in a generation chance. Obstructionist Dems trying to block because they think it is too good and will not be given the credit!” Biggest tax cuts which will add to the country’s debt. When you can’t get politicians in your own party to agree, then you have a problem.

Some Democrats complained that before the Senate vote, they were given roughly an hour to read the 500 page bill. Speed reading?

Reports that the White House has a tentative plan to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that emerged were an effort to express Trump’s deep displeasure and publicly shame his secretary of state. The news that the White House is seriously considering replacing Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo comes as Trump remains deeply frustrated with his secretary of state.

Tensions have been high between Trump and Tillerson for months now, and they were exacerbated after it was reported that Tillerson privately referred to the President as a moron over the summer. Trump, of course, has denied this.

After Trump retweeted anti-Muslims videos, multiple State Department officials said the department communicated to the White House that there was concern that protests could happen at US embassies. Trump retweeted three videos sent from far-right British activist Jayda Fransen that claimed to depict Muslims assaulting people and desecrating a statue of the Virgin Mary.

As if Trump doesn’t have enough issues on his plate, Trump is expected to announce very soon that the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This will definitely anger Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere who are already fuming because of those retweets.

Trump is expected to make the announcement as he signs a waiver to keep the US embassy in Tel Aviv for another six months but says his administration will move the diplomatic mission to Jerusalem at some point — a goal long sought by Israel. He may by specify only West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, as opposed to the eastern part of the city, which Palestinians want to claim as their own seat of government.

[The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 requires the embassy to be moved to Jerusalem or face the financial penalty of losing half the State Department’s appropriated funding for the acquisition and maintenance of buildings abroad. Every six months, however, presidents can sign a waiver to avoid these penalties on national security grounds.]

In more lies, Trump said at a speech in St. Charles, Missouri “The rich people actually don’t like me.” Unsure where he gets that from. His tax plan [corporate, estate, AMT] will save the rich millions.

Trump tweeted “Many people in our Country are asking what the “Justice” Department is going to do about the fact that totally Crooked Hillary, AFTER receiving a subpoena from the United States Congress, deleted and “acid washed” 33,000 Emails? No justice!” Aren’t you going to blame Jeff Sessions? Why don’t you fire him if he isn’t doing his job.

Trump tweeted “The jury was not told the killer of Kate [Steinle] was a 7 time felon. The Schumer/Pelosi Democrats are so weak on Crime that they will pay a big price in the 2018 and 2020 Elections.” Meanwhile where is his wall? How many miles have been built? Who was it that said the wall would be built in his first year?

Conservative pundit Ann Coulter said Steinle “would still be alive if we had a wall,” referring to Trump’s call for the construction of a border wall between the US and Mexico. She was killed in 2015. No real wall then. No real wall now. Federal immigration officials said they tried to deport the killer but failed. And yet Trump blamed the Democrats?

[As I reminder, unless it is part of a tweet or conversation, my policy is never to put Trump’s actual title in front of his name. He doesn’t deserve it.]