A week of legal woes for Trump

Attorney General Bill Barr’s declaration he replaced Geoffrey Berman of the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York [SDNY] renewed the debate over the extent to which Barr is acting on Donald Trump’s interests rather than the nation’s. Trump denied involvement in firing Geoffrey Berman. Yet Barr said he personally fired Berman.

The office of Berman, who initially refused to quit, is leading a probe into Trump’s lawyer Rudolph Giuliani and associates and has also indicted a Turkish state-owned firm involved in an Iran sanctions-busting case which Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has raised with Trump. He also investigated Michael Cohen. Berman has decided to resign as his deputy will be allowed to take over.

Scores of former Justice Department officials had already called for Barr to quit over a series of interventions that appear specifically designed to benefit Trump politically.

Berman had already gone after both Democrats and Republicans previously. He was even on Trump’s transition team and a Trump donor who was installed by the Trump administration in 2018. SDNY is known to go after white collar crime [primarily on Wall Street], as well as terrorism and other major crimes.

Trump intends to nominate Jay Clayton, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who has never been a prosecutor. This could also open up further questioning in the backgrounds of current and former Trump associates. Even then the confirmation would have to go through the Senate to confirm which may be difficult to do.

Berman recently refused to sign a letter from the Justice Department that criticized New York City’s coronavirus restrictions that affect religious institutions. Barr wasn’t aware of the dispute, and it had nothing to do with the ouster of Berman.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham announced that he will honor tradition to let home-state senators sign off on a replacement for Berman’s post, meaning that Democrats essentially have veto power over a replacement to a position considered the most powerful US attorney job in the country. So Clayton will not change his mind unless Graham forced to or says “I never said that”.

The Department of Justice officials held off on pushing out Berman because his exit would have been certain to cause an uproar and charges of political interference. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the “dismissal reeks of potential corruption of the legal process. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, a Democrat, said “America is right to expect the worst of Bill Barr, who has repeatedly interfered in criminal investigations on Trump’s behalf.”

A federal judge, Judge Royce Lamberth of the DC District Court, has denied the Trump administration’s attempt to block the upcoming publication of a book by former national security adviser John Bolton. The primary reason was that the book has already been released to many.

Trump considers it a victory because the judge also noted that it opens up to claw back proceeds from the book, including from any movie and TV rights, and other consequences for disclosing classified information. Bolton could still be exposed to criminal liability. Lamberth had also slammed Bolton for moving the publication forward before he formally got the administration’s approval.

One reviewer from the National Security Council had worked with Bolton over several sessions to remove all classified information from the book. But once she finished early this spring, other officials deemed details still in the book to be classified, and the White House told Bolton this month it wasn’t ready for publication.

Trump already announce Bolton is guilty by saying “Bolton broke the law and has been called out and rebuked for so doing, with a really big price to pay.”

Bolton departed the Trump administration in September 2019; Trump says he was fired, Bolton says he resigned. Trump tweeted, “President Bush fired him also. Bolton is incompetent!” Bolton left the George W. Bush administration as UN ambassador when his term expired. Bush said at the time that “he did a fabulous job for the country.” If he was incompetent [and fired by Bush], why did he hire Bolton?

And in another legal loss, the Trump administration doesn’t have the authority to divert Pentagon funds to construct additional barriers on the US-Mexico border, 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals court ruled 2-1. The transfer of $2.5 billion circumvented Congress, which holds the authority to appropriate money.

And in a further court case loss, Judge Peter J. Kelly of the Queens County Surrogate Court in New York dismissed an attempt by Trump’s younger brother, Robert, to block the publication of a forthcoming unflattering tell-all book by Mary L. Trump, Trump’s niece. The case was dismissed citing a lack of jurisdiction. Robert Trump can proceed with filing a new lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court.

The filing said that after the death of Fred Trump, litigation ensued over his will. As part of a settlement, the filing said, a confidentiality provision was agreed upon by all parties, including Mary Trump. What a family! Even fighting over a will!

After just coming back from Tulsa, Trump then went to Phoenix – a state that has had huge increases in COVID-19 since they re-opened – to attend a “Students for Trump” rally inside a church. No social distancing, very few masks, and no temperature taken when entering. Trump himself had no mask – of course. Another possible “Super Spreader”.

Peter Navarro, White House trade Advisor, said “We are preparing for a second wave in the fall” – contradicting Trump and he claimed that China not only spread the virus but created it. This is coming from a Trump trade advisor – so he’s an expert in medical issues. He said China is “guilty until proven innocent” and added “Many more people would of died if we didn’t open up the economy.” Whaaaaat?

Members of the Texas congressional delegation on both sides of the aisle are asking the Trump administration to reconsider its decision to halt direct funding to several coronavirus testing sites in Texas, where there has been a surge of COVID-19 cases. The federally funded testing program was intended to jump-start initial capabilities in critical areas across the US, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. At the end of the month, some sites in Texas will close because of a lack of funding.

Woops. In an interview, Trump goofed by saying “when” Joe Biden wins the presidency – not if. [Biden is not immune. He mentioned 120 million US deaths – not 120,000 deaths – although it is 125,000 now.]

As European Union nations continue to ease coronavirus restrictions, the EU is recommending that member states block American visitors from visiting their countries due to the surge of coronavirus cases in the US. Russia and a few other countries were include as well. The US placed severe travel restrictions on large parts of Europe earlier this year plus China, due to concern over coronavirus spread. I’m still expecting Trump to whine about it. What’s good for the gander is good for the orange goose.

Trump and Barr continue to claim of mail voter fraud will be quite big in November. As each county has different ballots [i.e. local elections in addition to state and federal], it is difficult to have fraud in mail in voting. There are also other information that will make fraud unlikely. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Barr, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and others in the administration have previously used mail in voting.

Trump for months has publicly accused Obama of committing crimes, but has repeatedly declined to say which crimes in particular when asked by reporters. Recently, Trump offered, without evidence, that Obama had committed treason for spying on his campaign. In reality, there is no evidence that the Obama spied on Trump’s campaign or committed any acts that reach the definition of treason.

Under the Constitution, treason is narrowly defined: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” So he never read any parts of the constitution. Not the first, second or 25th Amendments at least.

More than two weeks after his controversial photo-op outside a Washington church, Trump offered a new explanation last week for why he didn’t enter St. John’s Episcopal Church. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump said there were “a lot of insurance reasons. You know, the church was boarded up.” ” for why he couldn’t go in. But Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington said only a small room in the basement of the church, a nursery, had been damaged in a fire the day prior, and “the main sanctuary was not harmed at all.” The church was boarded up to protect the windows that were not affected by the fire as well as those that were.

Trump’s latest proclamation outlines a number of new restrictions on visas for temporary foreign workers. He says it’s because of the devastating economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has forced officials to do more to protect American jobs. Business groups and immigrant rights advocates are crying foul. They say these restrictions will ultimately harm the economy, and they’re accusing the Trump administration of using the public health crisis as a pretext to enact unnecessary immigration restrictions. Latest halt will last until January and could be extended.

Trump, who has previously predicted a “miracle” would occur or the virus would just disappear in the warmer weather, again declared falsely that the danger had passed — even with the nation racing towards another deadly summit of infection. Tell that to the thousands who have contracted news cases. Over half the states have now reported an increase in cases within the past week or so. Houston, for example, has just a 3% vacancy rate in ICU beds.

Pence briefly addressed the recent disruptions by demonstrators outside the White House, saying the US will prosecute those who attempted to remove a statue of Andrew Jackson and recently vandalized the historic church that was set on fire during demonstrations a few weeks ago. Damn I sure hope so! Earlier this week, Trump said he plans to sign an executive order related to force cities to “guard” monuments. Yes. I can see local police forces or US marshals wasting their manpower in guarding a statue instead of [hopefully] protecting citizens.

Trump personally instructed Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to restore the only Confederate statue in Washington, DC, after it was torn down last week. Trump raged at the sight of the statue being burned and torn down on June 19, tweeting, “The D.C. Police are not doing their job as they watch a statue be ripped down & burn.” He later instructed Bernhardt to put the statue of Confederate Gen. Albert Pike back up.

Trump tweeted “I was going to go to Bedminster, New Jersey, this weekend, but wanted to stay in Washington, D.C. to make sure LAW & ORDER is enforced. The arsonists, anarchists, looters, and agitators have been largely stopped.” So he’s not concerned about COVID-19 cases increase in 25+ states. He cares more about his supposedly “law and order” issue [which seems to be aimed more at minorities] than the virus.

Pence won’t contradict what Trump has said that wearing a mask is a good thing. When asked about how the campaign allowed people at 2 recent rallies not wearing masks? Pence said it is because it is enshrined in the constitution that people can do what they want. Legally, no. The government can enforce if they want to [if something that is legitimate] but we know already that Trump will not force citizens to wear a mask.

Here we go again. Twitter put a warning label on a tweet from Trump in which he warned if protesters tried to set up an “autonomous zone” in Washington DC they would be “met with serious force!” “We’ve placed a public interest notice on this Tweet for violating our policy against abusive behavior, specifically, the presence of a threat of harm against an identifiable group,” Twitter said. Twitter users, including Trump’s supporters, will be unable to retweet the offending tweet due to the measure.

House Democrats approved a bill to admit Washington, DC, as a state, marking the first time either chamber of Congress has advanced a DC statehood measure. The bill would shrink the federal capital to a small area encompassing the White House, Capitol building, Supreme Court, and other federal buildings along the National Mall. The rest of the city would become the 51st state. [But I thought Canada was the 51st state?]

In an interview last month Trump said that DC statehood will “never happen unless we have some very, very stupid Republicans…. DC will never be a state,” Trump said in the interview. “You mean District of Columbia, a state? Why? So we can have two more Democratic — Democrat senators and five more congressmen? No thank you. That’ll never happen.” But it could happen as early as next year the way the polls are going for Trump!

Trump tweeted “MANY people in custody, with many others being sought for Vandalization of Federal Property in Lafayette Park. 10 year prison sentences!” So you’ll be seeing them in prison soon? Which one will be your cell mate? [And I don’t think any will get 10 years. Chances of that happen is the same chances as Trump getting a third term.] His definition of many is probably one or two.

 

Trump moves to re-opening even as deaths continue

Three top public health officials, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] Director Dr. Robert Redfield, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, are all entering either full or partial quarantine. Their decisions follow the diagnosis of Donald Trump’s personal valet and Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary Katie Miller last week. Stephen Miller, Trump’s senior adviser and Katie Miller’s husband, is also staying away from the White House for the immediate future.

Trump asked why his valets weren’t ordered to wear masks before this week even though that’s the example he himself has set. Trump has told people he doesn’t want to be near anyone who hasn’t been tested. [Maybe they will wear a sticker saying when they were last tested. Maybe on their forehead signed by the tester.]

Officials like Dr. Deborah Birx and Fauci have become far less visible. The coronavirus task force briefings have been replaced by media trolling sessions by White House press secretary Kayleigh “The Parrot II” McEnany. Seems like they want no medical experts at the briefings now. The must be giving too much bad news.

Dr. Fauci warned senators that states and cities face serious consequences if they open up too quickly amid the pandemic. Fauci also told a Senate committee it was a “bridge too far” for schools to expect a vaccine or widely available treatment for COVID-19 by the time students return to campuses in the fall, though he expressed optimism a vaccine would be developed in the next year or two.

“I was surprised by his answer, actually,” Trump said. “It’s just — to me it’s not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to schools.”

Fauci was asked whether the overall coronavirus death toll was accurate. “The number is likely higher,” Fauci responded. “I don’t know exactly what percent higher — but almost certainly it’s higher.” Trump, on the other hand, says the death toll is way inflated and – you guessed it – is a plot by his political enemies to reduce his chances of winning in November.

Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican who tested positive for coronavirus in March, challenged Fauci and other public health experts, arguing that the virus has been on a “relatively benign course” outside of high infection rates in New England. He warned that there would be an even greater damage to the country if schools did not re-open in the fall. “”I don’t think you’re the one person that gets to make a decision.” But he isn’t.

If you didn’t notice, all the medical officials who have been in the news have mostly disappeared recently from any conferences, TV appearances, etc.

Trump, at a news conference, claims there could be a vaccine by the end of the year [his defense secretary Mark Esper – a medical expert – said so… not]even though real experts said 12 months would may not be long enough. Even 18 months. They are claiming a fully approved vaccine by year end.

At the same news conference, Trump claims truckers honking near the White Shack at Constitution Avenue weren’t protesting against him but for him. In fact, the truckers were protesting about their plight.

Trump announced “Operation Warp Speed,” a program to develop a coronavirus vaccine as fast as possible. But for him, he will still push to re-open the country with or without a vaccine.

Trump slammed efforts to make in-person voting easier in advance of this week’s special election for California’s 25th congressional district as a “SCAM!”, demanding that “These votes must not count.” Trump had previously tweeted he opposes voting by mail since it “doesn’t work out well for Republicans.” Not true. He has previously said that mail-in ballots are “corrupt” and “they’re forgeries in many cases.” Also [duh] not true.

Trump’s claim that Democrats “are trying to steal another election” was that Los Angeles County election officials recently added a new in-person voting location in the city of Lancaster — described by Trump as “the most Democrat area in the State.” So now Trump dislike mail-in and in person voting? And the mayor of Lancaster is a Republican. Most Democratic?

A CBS reporter [who is Asian] asked Trump a question. Right away Trump blabbers away regarding the number of deaths in the world and says “Ask China”. When she tries to follow up and she gets cut off. He then asks a CNN reporter who has 2 questions but I think as soon as he figured who she was and from what network he told her something like “you took too long to ask”. He then looked if there were others asking questions [other than these two] and then just left.

Trump claims that the USA is leading the world in testing. Maybe by actual tests but not by percentage. The US is at 2.8%, Canada is at 3.0% and a few countries in Europe are way higher.

Rick Bright, who filed a whistleblower complaint after being removed from his position as head of the agency in charge of pandemic response, testified for just under four hours before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s health subcommittee. He said:

  • There was a lack of plans from federal agencies and the administration.
  • His warnings about supply shortages were ignored multiple times.
  • “There were some attempts to bypass” a vetting process for hydroxychloroquine.
  • He doubts whether there will be a vaccine in 12 to 18 months.

Some GOP members question need for hearing and its timing. Should be focused on the pandemic instead. Rep. Richard Hudson of North Carolina claimed that the hearing was not about the whistleblower complaint but “undermining the administration during a national and global crisis.”

“I never even thought of changing the date of the election. Why would I do that? November 3rd. It’s a good number. No, I look forward to that election,” Trump said during an April 27 press conference when asked about the election date. Of course, we know Trump. Anything he has said is meaningless within 15 minutes of saying it.

Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida is telling members the club will partially reopen shortly, and guests will need to maintain social distancing guidelines.

In case you are not keeping score, Trump is at 152 executive orders. Obama did 147 in his first term. He did 121 at this time in his third year. Only “advantage” Obama had was that he did more in his first 2 weeks.

In a new poll, 84% of Republicans say they trust Trump to give them information on the virus. Only 61% of the same slice of the electorate say they trust Fauci, who has headed the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. Trump has no medical qualifications.

Do you take any responsibility? “No, I don’t.”

Donald Trump said that he takes no responsibility for any spike in people using disinfectants improperly after dangerously suggesting last week that ingesting it could serve as a coronavirus treatment. Asked about the increase during a White House news conference, Trump said: “I can’t imagine why.” When asked if he takes any responsibility for the spike, Trump answered: “No, I don’t.”

The administration has curtailed the news conferences with Trump because of the way he has handled these news conferences. He’s been going off on different tangents, quite often picking fights with reporters, news networks or segued into a topic that he wasn’t even asked about.

To show you how petty the Trump administration is, a White House official wanted to swap the seats of a news reporter from a major news network with a print reporter from a lesser newspaper – because Trump hates that news network. The print reporter refused and the White House official was almost ready to call in the Secret Service. Unsure if they have any jurisdiction.

Trump is expected to sign a five-page executive order under the Defense Production Act to compel meat processing plants to remain open amid the coronavirus pandemic. By signing the order, Trump will declare these plants as a part of critical infrastructure in the US. Some of the country’s largest processing plants have been forced to cease operations temporarily after thousands of employees across the country have tested positive for the virus.

Some of the meat processing plants have undocumented workers. They may not show up for work. In addition some [legal] workers may not show up for work either with some previously had the virus. They are also concerned about the safety while working at the plants.

Trump met the Louisiana governor this past week in the Oval Closet – well it looked like one since the amount of people shoved into the room. In any case, social distancing, masks and gloves went out the window. The politicians and officials were at most 2-3 feet apart. Reporters were next to each other. From the view, only a camera man had gloves and a mask on. Hazard pay for reporters?

A number of top officials in the Trump administration have pushed US intelligence agencies looking into the origin of the novel coronavirus to “hunt for evidence” linking the virus to a Chinese laboratory. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger and Anthony Ruggiero, an official with the National Security Council, are among those pushing for the agencies to find a link.

Where have we seen this before: The White House is blocking Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, from testifying on Capitol Hill next week claiming “…it is counter-productive to have the very individuals involved in those efforts appearing at Congressional hearings.” Or maybe they are hiding things. Fauci has been critical lately of re-opening plans.

Trump was shouting at his campaign manager, Brad Parscale. Shifting the blame away from himself, Trump berated Parscale for a recent spate of damaging poll numbers, even at one point threatening to sue Parscale. Suing a campaign manager for bad polling numbers would be a first but I would suspect any lawsuit would be thrown out of court. When the candidate continues to make huge mistakes, there is nothing a campaign manager can do other than telling the candidate to stop it.

But others told him to stop. Trump has complained that the lack of rallies is hurting him in the polling. Probably another reason why Trump would want America to open up again – even if it increases the death count.

To show that he has no real experience to do his job, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, praised the administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as a “great success story” less than a day after the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States topped 1 million and almost 60,000 deaths.

“I think you will see by June, a lot of the country should be back to normal, and the hope is that by July the country is really rocking again,” he said. Trump actually called Kushner “a genius”.

At the first official briefing by a White House press secretary in 417 days, Kayleigh The Parrot 2 McEnany promised journalists, “I will never lie to you.” In among them:

  • She misquoted an FBI agent’s written comment about former national security adviser Michael Flynn. She said “we need” before “to get him to lie” but the FBI never included “we need”.
  • She mischaracterized a tweet by Trump about protesters in Michigan. He said there were “very good people” which include a militia. She said it was for protesting.
  • She gave an inflated figure for the cost of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. She said $40 million when an independent checking said $32 million.
  • She said Mueller offered a “complete and total exoneration” of Trump, something Mueller explicitly said he was not doing.

Did she lie?

Former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake says a “sound defeat” of Trump in November’s election would be better long term for the Republican Party, adding that he would be comfortable voting for a Democrat instead of his own party’s standard bearer. Flake was one of Trump’s most vocal Republican critics, despite being a staunch conservative who almost always voted with the GOP majority. He may vote for a Democrat in November.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have committed $100 million of their own money to fight the coronavirus pandemic. In return, a fevered segment of the pro-Trump internet is convinced the couple wants to kill off a good portion of humanity, then install mark-of-the-beast style tracking chips in whoever survives.

Then another pro-Trumper tweeted “Bill Gates & @WHO have used African & Indian tribal children to experiment w/ non-FDA approved drug vaccines. Both countries [Two? Africa isn’t a country.] raised red flags about the unethical nature of these trials and were ignored.” And of course like just about anything Trump says, there is no proof this is happening. Others claim Gates patented the virus and was behind spreading bit.

The Supreme Court asked for additional briefings in two cases concerning Trump’s bid to shield his financial documents from Congress. The court asked the parties to address whether the court even has the ability to decide who should prevail in the dispute.

Lower US courts have upheld US House of Representatives’ use of committee subpoenas for Trump’s financial records dating back years from his longtime accounting firm Mazars USA, and from Deutsche Bank and Capital One. House investigators contended they needed the information as the House was considering new legislation related to money laundering and government ethics.

When Vice President Mike Pence walked into the Mayo Clinic recently, he wasn’t wearing a face mask. Pence was told of the new rules before he visited, the clinic said on Twitter, a post that was subsequently deleted. Everyone else in the building was. After all, it has been the policy at the renowned Rochester, Minnesota, facility since April 13. They even say they’ll provide one.

Pence later told reporters that he wasn’t wearing a mask because he is supposedly tested weekly for coronavirus. Maybe. Wonder how often Trump is tested. Still, Pence as a leader should act like he’s in a leadership role by wearing a mask.

In another sick joke from the Trump Administration, the White House gift shop [online] is selling commemorative COVID-19 coins showing various “historic moments”!

Trump administration isn’t organized for the coronavirus

Donald Trump said he wants everyone on the Grand Princess, the latest ship that have tested positive for the coronavirus, to stay on the ship. Not surprising, he contradicted Vice President Mike Pence who said that he wants those on the ship to leave the ship at a port that doesn’t have other cruise ships to be tested. 21 of 3500 people are the ship have tested positive.

Trump said “…we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better, just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work – some of them go to work but they get better.” So he’s implying that even if you have the virus, you can go to work. Later, a crony said he never said that but said that when they are better. And I don’t think there are that may people who have the virus.

Who said this on February 26th? “When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” There are 210 cases and 12 deaths as of March 6th in the US.

Trump dismissed Democratic complaints about his handling of the crisis as “their new hoax.” Last week Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s acting chief of staff, said that the media is paying so much attention to coronavirus “because they think this is what’s going to be what brings down the president.”

In a reply to a Trump tweet: “I hope you have enough rolls of paper towels to fix the pandemic” and another said “As bad as the Coronavirus is we have a much worse virus in our country called Trump. We need to eradicate that very soon.”

“The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing,” Trump said during on a meeting addressing the coronavirus outbreak. “And we undid that decision a few days ago so that the testing can take place in a much more rapid and accurate fashion.” An aide to a Republican senator said the Obama administration made no such rule change. If it was supposedly wrong, why did it take the Trump administration over 3 years to “fix” it?

As the government recommends to businesses that some employees should consider working from home amid the coronavirus outbreak, the Trump administration is reducing the reasons for working at home forcing them to work at the office. Teleworking is a key request of their labor unions and a recommendation from other government officials to protect the federal workforce from the outbreak.

Not even 48 hours after Joe Biden’s dramatic wins on Super Tuesday that major Trump supporters are ramping up their efforts in what [if anything] Joe Biden’s son Hunter had anything to do with Ukrainian energy company Burisma – where Hunter Biden was an executive.

The Supreme Court announced it will decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act sometime next term [begins in October], presumably after the presidential election. The dispute pits Democratic-led states led by California against the Trump administration and red states led by Texas.

The Trump administration and Taliban signed a historic agreement which sets into motion the potential of a full withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and could pave the way to ending America’s longest-fought war. An initial drawdown to 8,600 troops would occur within the first 135 days, according to the agreement.

The agreement lays out a 14-month timetable for the withdrawal of “all military forces of the United States, its allies, and Coalition partners, including all non-diplomatic civilian personnel, private security contractors, trainers, advisors, and supporting services personnel.” The four-page agreement states that the Taliban will take steps “to prevent any group or individual, including al-Qa’ida, from using the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.”

So if after 14 months, the Taliban goes against the agreement and say Trump is not President, will his administration be blamed for letting the Taliban take over? Will Trump counter and blame the next administration even though it was his administration’s deal and what could Trump blame them for? 14 months will be just a few months into the next administration. The US has spent $750 billion since entering the country in 2001.

Trump tweeted “People are disgusted and embarrassed by the Fake News Media, as headed by the @nytimes, @washingtonpost, @comcast & MSDNC, @ABC, @CBSNews and more. They no longer believe what they see and read, and for good reason. Fake News is, indeed, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!” Poll probably taken by Fox but more likely no poll or anything. Surprising no CNN. It’s a conspiracy! All the real media is against him!

The White House is withdrawing the nomination of Elaine McCusker to be the Pentagon’s comptroller. McCusker was the Pentagon’s acting comptroller who raised concerns about the legality of Ukraine military aid being held by the Trump administration.

The Trump administration has tapped Marshall Billingslea, the current undersecretary for terrorism financing at the Treasury Department, as special envoy for nuclear talks. Democrats and advocacy groups previously raised concerns about his views on torture while working for President George W. Bush’s administration.

Trump is still going on about being impeached. So what does he do? He shows a map of all the counties that voted for him in the 2016 election. Problem is that more than half of all residents live in just 143 big counties (in terms of the number of residents) and most of those were won by Hillary Clinton. 14 states don’t have a single “big” county, defined as having 926 people (or more) for every square mile.

Facebook said it will remove some ads run by Trump’s re-election campaign that it says ran afoul of its policies to “prevent confusion around the official US census.” The questions on the survey include asking users about their views of Trump, what news outlets they read most, as well as their age, name, and contact information. It also ask if they “think Nancy Pelosi and the Radical Left are putting their personal anti-Trump agenda ahead of what’s best for the American people.”

Trump was on Fox [where else!] with the usual [and some repeated] false claims such as:

  • “The largest tax cuts in history.” – Already it isn’t. Presidents Reagan and Obama had larger tax cuts according to experts.
  • “Nobody has done more in three years, the first three years, than we have.” – How do you calculate that?
  • “We have the cleanest air. We have the cleanest water. Our — our air is as clean or cleaner than it’s ever been.” – Not according to scientists.
  • “And against the advice of a lot of great professionals, … — they worked for the administration and outside — I — I closed the borders to China.” – Which professionals?
  • “I hated to do it statistically. I hated to do it from the standpoint of having people coming in. It’s going to be — is it going to look bad?” – Basically he almost didn’t want Americans to enter the country if they had the virus.
  • “So, if we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work…” – He’s claiming that if people with the virus go to work, they’ll feel better.
  • “Now, with the regular flu, we average from 27,000 to 77,000 deaths a year. Who would think that? I never knew that, until six or eight weeks ago.” – He didn’t know how many deaths? According to statistics, it never went over 61,000 a year in the last 10 years.

This past week in impeachment inquiry was a doozy

Donald Trump tweeted he will “strongly consider” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s suggestion that he testify in the House impeachment inquiry. Pelosi suggested Trump could do so in writing. “Even though I did nothing wrong, and don’t like giving credibility to this No Due Process Hoax, I like the idea & will, in order to get Congress focused again, strongly consider it!” Trump tweeted.

Trump described Pelosi later on as “crazy as a bedbug” and “not talented”. Was she in a reality show of his?

Trump said he would like a full Senate trial if the House votes to. “I want a trial,” railing against the House Democrats’ inquiry. Trump said he wants Hunter Biden and Adam Schiff to testify.

Hmmm. If he thinks the impeachment inquiry has always been a sham, why would you go? It gives credibility to the inquiry then. Just before his tweeted that the impeachment inquiry a “great fraud.” Of course the probability of Trump participating is just a bit higher than nil.

Trump tweeted “The rules are rigged by Pelosi & Schiff, but we are winning, and we will win!” Does he have a way to measure winning an impeachment inquiry.

Trump lashed out against Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, who described his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in her deposition as “inappropriate.” At one point Trump said he never met her. How is that possible? She is an aide to Pence!

US Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified that there was a quid pro quo for Ukraine to announce investigations into Trump’s political opponents that came from Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani at the “express direction of the President.”

Sondland provided House impeachment investigators with emails and texts showing it wasn’t just him and Giuliani pushing for the investigations outside government channels – Trump’s inner circle knew what was going on, too. He even said he raised concerns with Vice President Mike Pence that the freezing of $400 million in security aid to Ukraine was linked to the investigations.

Sondland, who was appointed by Trump to be US ambassador to the European Union, testified that he had kept Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “in the loop” about “activities” connected to the effort to get Ukraine to announce an investigation into Trump’s main political rival.

Sondland testified there was a quid pro quo for Ukraine to announce investigations into Trump’s political opponents that came from Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani at the “express direction of the President.” Giuliani said he “never met” Sondland.

Sondland said he and President Trump are “not close friends” and have a “professional, cordial working relationship.” trump claimed he doesn’t know Sondland well and hasn’t spoken to him much. On the question of how often they spoke, Sondland said around 20 times. In a tweet on Oct. 8, Trump called Sondland “a really good man and great American.”

But Trump has said the same thing about just about everyone who has testified. He said the same thing about Pence’s aide. Sondland was also a Trump appointee.

The Trump administration has still failed to give Ukraine all of the aid that is at the center of the inquiry.

David Holmes, the counselor for political affairs at the US Embassy in Ukraine, overheard Sondland say in a phone call “Dammit Rudy. Every time Rudy gets involved he goes and f—s everything up.” Trump tweeted after “Never have I been watching a person making a call, which was not on speakerphone, and been able to hear or understand a conversation.”

A lawyer for an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas, said that his client is willing to tell Congress about meetings the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee had in Vienna last year with a former Ukrainian prosecutor to discuss digging up dirt on Joe Biden.

While Trump is still promoting a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election, Fiona Hill, a former White House adviser and Russia expert, said the debunked theory that Ukraine was behind election interference played into Russia’s hands. Trump repeated his assertion that Ukrainians might have hacked the Democratic National Committee’s network in 2016 and framed Russia for the crime.

“They gave the server to CrowdStrike, which is a company owned by a very wealthy Ukrainian,” Trump said. In fact, CrowdStrike is a California based company owned by a Russian who immigrated to the Us when he was very young. CrowdStrike said it was 2 Russian hacking groups that was involved in the DNC hack.

In a classified briefing this fall, US intelligence officials told senators and their aides that Russia has engaged in a years-long campaign to shift the blame away from Russia and onto Ukraine for interfering in the 2016 American presidential campaign.

Trump’s aides have explored moving some impeachment witnesses on loan to the White House from other agencies, such as Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, back to their home departments ahead of schedule. Trump is asking anew how witnesses such as Vindman and Ambassador Bill Taylor came to work for him. He has suggested again they be dismissed, even as advisers warn him firing them could be viewed as retaliation.

“America hired @realDonaldTrump to fire people like the first three witnesses we’ve seen. Career government bureaucrats and nothing more,” the Donald Trump Jr., tweeted as Yovanovitch began her testimony.

“You elected Donald Trump to drain the Swamp, well, dismissing people like Yovanovitch is what that looks like. Dismissing people like [George] Kent and Taylor, dismissing everybody involved from the Obama holdover days trying to undermine Trump, getting rid of those people, dismissing them, this is what it looks like,” Trump tweeted. They are still employed.

He also went after former US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, whom Trump recalled from her post in Kyiv. Trump claimed without evidence that she didn’t want his picture to hang on the walls of the embassy. In fact, his picture only arrived in 2018 and put up shortly after. Talking about petty.

The House of Representatives is now investigating whether Trump lied to special counsel Robert Mueller in written answers he provided in the Russia investigation, the House’s general counsel said in federal court.

Trump’s financial documents won’t be released at this time, after the Supreme Court put on hold a lower court opinion that allowed a House subpoena to go forward. The court did not set a timeline when it will rule or release the documents, but has asked for the House to respond very soon to Trump’s request to block the subpoena.

Right-wing media personalities, in addition to Trump himself, have recently resurfaced a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine, and not Russia, hacked the Democratic National Committee’s emails in 2016. The theory is popular in pro-Trump circles because it lets Russia off the hook for election interference, and suggests Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe was unnecessary and had corrupt origins.

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that “clearly asking for personal favors and using United States assets as collateral is wrong,” a swipe at Trump as the investigation into his dealings with Ukraine intensifies.

BuzzFeed’s Ryan Broderick hit the nail on the head with this piece: “There Are Two Separate Impeachment Hearings Happening Right Now – And Republicans Are Winning Theirs.” Broderick explained, “Nothing Republican Rep. Devin Nunes does during the hearings makes sense if you watch it in the moment. When it’s posted on Facebook later, though, it works perfectly.”

Trump’s recent visit to Walter Reed did not follow the protocol of a routine presidential medical exam as medical staff at Walter Reed did not get a staff-wide notice about a presidential visit to the medical center in Bethesda. Typically, Walter Reed’s medical staff would get a general notice about a “VIP” visit to the medical center ahead of a presidential visit, notifying them of certain closures at the facility.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Trump decided to get parts of his physical done early because he had a “free weekend” in Washington, but did not responded to questions about why Trump did not get his full physical exam — which typically takes 4 hours. Grisham also denied Trump had any health issue. Who does a physical in 2 parts?

But two days later, Trump’s doctor described the hospital visit as an “interim checkup,” a term physicians implied a separate visit that is not part of an annual physical. “Anticipating a very busy 2020, the President is taking advantage of a free weekend here in Washington, D.C., to begin portions of his routine annual physical exam at Walter Reed,” is what Grisham initially said.

Trump, Grisham said, underwent a “quick exam and labs.” Several experts familiar with White House medical procedures said that Trump can get routine lab work done at the White House’s on-site clinic, indicating Trump needed tests that can’t be done there. His two previous physical exams in office were announced ahead of time by the White House and noted on his daily public schedule.

You will be happy to hear that Trump authorized his doctor to release the fact that Trump’s cholesterol level is at 165 – within range for his body – if you believe his doctor. That is a 30 point drop from his previous physical. Considering he hasn’t changed his eating habits or does any physical activity [other than lifting a fork or knife], you need to wonder how accurate that number. His weight wasn’t released but in the last physical, he gained weight.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he wishes the President “well” from “whatever he’s recovering from.” Dr. Jonathan Reiner, former Vice President Dick Cheney’s longtime cardiologist, said he remains “very skeptical” of the White House’s explanation, particularly because the White House did not disclose what exam Trump underwent beyond having blood drawn.

The Senate passed a short-term funding bill to avert a government shutdown as the clock ticks down to an expiration of government funding that would trigger a shutdown if lawmakers don’t act in time to prevent it. Trump could not blame the Democrats for anything as the vote was 74-20. At one point, Senate Republican leaders were still working to relieve objections on their side of the aisle to components of the month-long continuing resolution to keep the government operating past the deadline when funding expires.

Shortly after he left Texas, Trump tweeted: “Today I opened a major Apple Manufacturing plant in Texas that will bring high paying jobs back to America. Today Nancy Pelosi closed Congress because she doesn’t care about American Workers!” Except it opened 6 years ago. Apple doesn’t even own the plant but that’s where Apple products are made. He went to Texas for a meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook.

In addition, even though the impeachment inquiry was going on the last couple of weeks, the house was still in session, passing two bills. This includes the House passing a short-term funding bill to try to avert a government shutdown.

“Since resigning as National Security Advisor, the White House refused to return access to my personal Twitter account,” former national security adviser John Bolton tweeted. “Out of fear of what I may say? To those who speculated I went into hiding, I’m sorry to disappoint!”

Trump pardoned an army lieutenant serving 18 years for ordering the murder of unarmed Afghan civilians in 2012 and he preemptively pardoned a former Green Beret officer accused of ambushing and killing an Afghan prisoner a short time after his release by military authorities. He also ordered the promotion of demoted Navy SEAL who was reported by his own comrades for shooting at civilians and posing with the corpse of a 15-year-old prisoner after accusers say he shoved aside a medic and stabbed him.

Not only did Trump make it clear he considered the Navy SEAL a hero and that the Navy might as well not bother with the prosecution, he actually lashed out at Navy prosecutors, declaring that he’d directed the Pentagon to rescind their military achievement medals. Trump has said: “You know, we teach them how to be great fighters, and then when they fight sometimes they get really treated very unfairly.”

Trump is also reportedly considering pardoning the only US mercenary punished for the wanton civilian killings the State Department’s hired guns carried out in Iraq after the 2003 American invasion. Trump is sending a bright and clear message to troops in the field: Go ahead, do what you have to do, forget the rules of war, there will be no punishment.

John Bel Edwards of Louisiana, the only Democratic governor in the Deep South, narrowly won re-election, overcoming the intervention of Trump, who visited the state multiple times in an effort to help Mr. Edwards’s Republican challenger and demonstrate his own clout. It was the second blow at the ballot box for Trump this month in a Republican-leaning state, following the Democratic victory in the Kentucky governor’s race, where Trump also campaigned for the GOP candidate.

Chief of staff Mick Mulvaney will have been in his job for year in January – and there’s little indication Trump is prepared to drop “acting” from his title.

Trump claims he’s the reason China hasn’t taken steps to crush pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong by asking his “friend” Chinese President Xi Jinping not to send in the military. But China has warned it will retaliate against the U.S. if Trump signs a bill supporting the Hong Kong protests. Trump says if it weren’t for him “thousands of people would have been killed in Hong Kong right now and you wouldn’t have any riots.” Sure Donnie.

In a speech Trump said “She [Pelosi] can’t even get the USMCA bill passed. OK. And every Democrat wants it — the Democrats, the Republicans, it’s on her desk for three months. And she hasn’t done anything on it.” The Trump administration has pushed Pelosi to pass the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement but it has not sent her any legislation to implement the trade deal as the Democrats object to certain issues.

The Trump administration has sent letters to dozens of residences in California, New Mexico and Texas notifying owners that the government is going to survey their land for future border barriers, according to two US defense officials.

“Should the landowner decide not to sign the Right of Entry letter, the Army may refer the matter to the US Department of Justice to initiate a condemnation for court-ordered temporary access to the property,” said the US army spokesperson. For privately owned, the federal government needs to seek permission before surveying the land. This doesn’t give owners much of a choice.

The Trump administration has sent the first migrant to Guatemala as part of its agreement with the country to accept asylum seeking migrants from the US, according to Guatemalan officials. Migrants from Honduras and El Salvador are eligible to be sent back to Guatemala under this program.

Michael Knowles, president of a local union that represents US asylum officers, denounced the Trump administration’s asylum policies during a House hearing saying “These policies are blatantly illegal, they are immoral, and indeed are the basis for some egregious human rights violations by our own country.”

The Republic National Committee spent $100,000 to prop up Donal Trump Jr’s book. If getting the typical bulk discount, that could mean up to 7,000 copies. 70,000 copies were sold in the first week.

Trumpworld is shaking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At a rally Dallas rally this week:

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

So much “fun” going on for Trump

The fallout over the Ukrainian controversy with Donald Trump continues into a second week.

Trump confessed to asking Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden, and he publicly doubled down, urging China to interfere in US democracy. This is officially an impeachable offense.

“Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser, especially when this accuser, the so-called ‘Whistleblower,’ represented a perfect conversation with a foreign leader in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way,” Trump tweeted before taking aim at House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff who confirmed that there is a tentative agreement for the whistleblower to testify before his committee.

Is Trump forgetting that even without the whistleblower, there is still the transcript of his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. So all Trump would do is basically bully the whistleblower on Twitter.

Trump promised “Big Consequences” for anyone who assisted in providing the person information. That sounds like a threat. What will he do? Use the FBI to do his dirty work or maybe get a new “fixer” to take out the whistleblower.

Then three House chairmen including Schiff said “The President’s comments today constitute reprehensible witness intimidation and an attempt to obstruct Congress’ impeachment inquiry. We condemn the President’s attacks, and we invite our Republican counterparts to do the same because Congress must do all it can to protect this whistleblower, and all whistleblowers.”

“It should be criminal. It should be treasonous. He made it up; every word of it, made up,” saying Trump of Schiff and called former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden “stone cold crooks”.

“His [Schiff] lies were made in perhaps the most blatant and sinister manner ever seen in the great Chamber. He wrote down and read terrible things, then said it was from the mouth of the President of the United States. I want Schiff questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason,” Trump said. As usual Trump exaggerates in his comments and doesn’t know the definition of fraud and treason. Schiff is doing his job. Without any opposition to question him, this would be nothing but a dictatorship.

Trump went on to accuse “Shifty” Schiff of having a “mental breakdown” during his questioning of acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire and maybe even co-authored the whistleblower’s complaint form and even knowing the name of the whistleblower. Schiff’s office denies this.

The purpose of this letter is to formally notify you of serious concerns we have regarding our client’s personal safety. The events of the past week have heightened our concerns that our client’s identity will be disclosed publicly and that, as a result, our client will be put in harm’s way,” was in a letter from the lawyers for the whistleblower sent to acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire says, adding that recent comments by Trump are reason for “heightened” concern.

“Likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine,” Trump added. Except like in the Ukraine, there is no evidence of either Bidens doing anything wrong or anything at all.

“The whistleblower stated on the form that he or she possessed both first-hand and other information,” the statement read from the intelligence community inspector general. “The ICIG reviewed the information provided as well as other information gathered and determined that the complaint was both urgent and that it appeared credible.” So conspiracy theories from Trump and supporters that the whistleblower only knew second or third hand knowledge went out the window. Of course they will deny this.

Trump also tweeted “Who changed the long standing whistleblower rules just before submittal of the fake whistleblower report? Drain the swamp!” As if the whistleblower rules changed because it is him in the hot seat. Funny. He whined about “draining the swap” before the election but since taking control he has yet to do so even with 2 years of the Republican party controlling the House and Senate. Does he know where the drain is?

This came from a right-wing web site which said that “between May 2018 and August 2019, the intelligence community secretly eliminated a requirement that whistleblowers provide direct, first-hand knowledge of alleged wrongdoings.” While the submission form that whistleblowers from the intelligence community fill out was revised in August 2019, the revision did not change the rules on who can submit a whistleblower complaint.

House Democrats issued a subpoena to the White House for documents related to the July 25th call, ratcheting up the Democratic impeachment inquiry into Trump. The subpoena came after the three committees leading the impeachment inquiry separately sent a letter seeking documents from Vice President Mike Pence as part of their investigation into Trump and his conversation with the President of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, a House Foreign Affairs Committee said “Secretary Pompeo has failed to meet the deadline to produce documents required by the subpoena…. Apart from the outstanding subpoena, we look forward to hearing from Ambassadors [Gordon] Sondland [of the European Union] and [Marie] Yovanovitch [of the Ukraine] next week.”

Trump ordered the removal of Ambassador Yovanovitch from her post in Ukraine following complaints by his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others. Yovanovitch was accused by Giuliani without evidence of trying to undermine Trump and blocking efforts to investigate Democrats like Joe Biden. Asked why Yovanovitch was recalled, Trump said, “I don’t know if I recalled her or somebody recalled her…” He doesn’t remember?

“As the President of the United States, I have an absolute right, perhaps even a duty, to investigate, or have investigated, CORRUPTION, and that would include asking, or suggesting, other Countries to help us out!” Trump tweeted. Yes. But not for political reasons such as a potential rival for the next election.

The former Special Envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, was the first witness in the impeachment probe. He told House investigators he warned Ukrainians not to meddle in the US election after Trump’s phone call with Zelensky. He also warned Giuliani that the conspiracy theories he was spreading about Biden were not credible. Volker left last week.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is preparing for his exit from the Trump Cabinet with his name squarely in the middle of the Ukrainian controversy, raising the prospect that a once largely clean tenure could be clouded at the very end. Perry was one of what one official called the “three amigos” leading US relations with the country, meeting at least three times with Zelensky.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chamber’s most senior Republican and a longtime defender of whistleblowers, rebuked Trump when he said the whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry “appears to have followed the whistleblower protection laws and ought to be heard out and protected.”

House Democrats issued a stark warning to Pompeo after Pompeo accused lawmakers of “intimidating and bullying” State Department officials by calling them for depositions related to the Ukraine inquiry. The chairmen of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees told Pompeo that any effort to prevent those officials from speaking to Congress “is illegal and will constitute evidence of obstruction of the impeachment inquiry.”

In non-impeachment news, Trump suggested shooting migrants in the legs in order to slow them down after they crossed the southern border at the White House with many of his senior staff and those related to the border issue during a March meeting in which he called for a shutdown of the entire US-Mexico border.

From a tweet by Fox News contributor Robert Jeffress, an evangelical pastor from Texas, warned that if Trump were successfully removed from office, civil war would follow. Of course Trump re-tweeted it. But while people may not take Jeffress seriously, once Trump retweets it, it becomes more official.

Wow. Trump has hinted again that a new news network should be started as he is unhappy with the media coverage. Wait! What about his propaganda department, Fox News? Even if he did start a network, unsure if the federal government can run it. How about the Trump Organization? Would that be a conflict of interest maybe?

A majority of Americans say they think Congress opening an impeachment inquiry into Trump is necessary, according to a CBS News poll. The poll, conducted by YouGov, shows 55% of Americans think the newly-opened probe necessary, while 45% of Americans think it unnecessary. 87% of Democrats approve of the inquiry, while 77% of Republicans disapprove, according to the poll. Among Independents, 49% approve and 51% disapprove, the poll found.

But in another poll from SSRS, among independents, support for impeachment and removal has risen 11 points to 46% among independents and 8 points to 14% among Republicans. Sixty percent of those under age 35 now say they support impeaching Trump and removing him from office, up from 43% who felt that way in May, while support for the move among older Americans has held about even [42% now vs. 40% in May].

While Breitbart News web site claims it is a poll and Trump retweeted them, they are not a real poll. First, you have a web site that spews conspiracies and stories that aren’t stories. Then you can vote as many times as you want. So if Trump isn’t getting 100%, something is wrong.

Is Trump a racist or just plain dumb

Donald Trump tweeted “So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world….and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came….” Shows you what kind of a racist he is….

Trump took his racist tweets aimed primarily at four non-white Congresswomen – three of the four were born in the US – known as The Squad. But if he went after President Obama claiming Obama wasn’t born in the US, what stops him from going after the three? But the white nationalists support his tweets and Trump said “It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” he said.

“As to whether or not they’re communists, I would think they might be. But this isn’t what our country is about,” Trump said. He accused one another of costing New York tens of thousands of jobs – with no proof.

Trump denied that the inflammatory tweets he issued were racist. Asked on the South Lawn during an event on American-made products if his tweets were racist, he said: “Not at all.” Yet it is what one group [usually white right wing] would say to another [usually not white]. He pointed to comments that one of the congresswomen made about Al Qaeda — but didn’t say who. Because they never said that.

“As far as I’m concerned, if you hate our country, if you’re not happy here, you can leave.” Did any one of them said they hated the US? I’m sure not. More fake facts from the Fake Facts in Chief. Trump tried to come out with excuses when he revised his remarks by saying that if you are not happy with the country, you can leave. But he didn’t say that originally.

Trump tweeted “If Democrats want to unite around the foul language & racist hatred spewed from the mouths and actions of these very unpopular & unrepresentative Congresswomen, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I can tell you that they have made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S.” He should talk about “foul language & racist hatred spewed”. He’s at least doing the latter now and has done the former before.

Then an hour before that he tweeted “When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said. So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!” He is really gone bonkers!

Trump claimed to be unhappy that his rally crowd in North Carolina broke out into chants of “send her back” as he denigrated a Democratic lawmaker he’d previously said should leave the US. But did he do anything to stop the chanting? He just stood there. He didn’t say something like “That’s not nice.” He also claimed he had tried to stop the chant at a reelection event. Video shows otherwise.

But after he did say “I started speaking really quickly…” [yet he waited a reported 13 seconds while they chanted] “…I was not happy with it. I disagree with it. But again, I didn’t say that, they did.” But he did put the “send her back” into their minds when he tweeted that earlier in the week. He also said he “would certainly try” to stop any similar chant at a future rally. But you know he won’t do that.

Then the day after he call those who chanted “incredible patriots” and then made false accusations against both Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ilhan Omar. He said “They can’t call our country and our people ‘garbage.’ They can’t be anti-Semitic. They can’t talk about evil Jews, which is what they say. ‘Evil Jews.'” Neither have been quote anywhere of saying what Trump said. Omar has said some comments about Israel previously but not considered anti-Semitic.

If this was any other individual who is saying so much lies, false facts and racist or near racist comments – let alone comments that are generally not said by a world leader – he would be torched by just about every civilized person. But his party is backing him because they are riding on his coat tails and they don’t want to endure his wrath.

Prior to the House voting to vote on a resolution condemning Trump’s racist tweets about four minority lawmakers, Trump tweeted again “Why isn’t the House voting to rebuke the filthy and hate laced things they have said?” What comments of theirs were filthy and hateful? They may have made some comments but nothing in the same league as “go back” to “the crime infested places from which they came” and added “anti-USA, pro-terrorist” without any proof.

Trump tweets that he does not have “a Racist bone in my Body.” Then he added ” This should be a vote on the filthy language, statements and lies told by the Democrat. Congresswomen, who I truly believe, based on their actions, hate our Country. Get a list of the HORRIBLE things they have said. Omar is polling at 8%, Cortez at 21%.” Where are these polling numbers from? In the end, those in their districts will be those that matter.

When asked House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said “….they talked more about impeachment than anything else.” Unfortunately, being a racist isn’t an impeachable offense. He then added “We should get back to the business of America.” Well, if the Racist in Chief kept his mouth [and keyboard] shut, politicians could actually do the job they were hired to do.

Basically, the Republican Party has shrugged off Trump’s comments. A total of 9 disagreed with Trump’s comments. Now you know why they won’t get much of the non-white vote. As well, Acting Director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli said “So what?”

“I don’t think that the president’s intent any way is racist,” said Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice-President Mike Pence, repeatedly pointing to Trump’s decision to choose Elaine Chao, who was born outside the country, as his transportation secretary. Except Chao is also married to Mitch McConnell.

Trump tweeted “Friday’s tour [by Pence] showed vividly, to politicians and the media, how well run and clean the children’s detention centers are. Great reviews! Failing @nytimes story was FAKE!” Hum? Was he expecting a review of the detention centers in the entertainment section of all the newspapers in America? He is forgetting that they did not go to all the centers – most likely just the ones that are new or have been cleaned up.

Pence’s office said a tour of some detention centers in Texas was part of an effort to show the Trump administration is providing adequate care for migrants. And yet at a Border Patrol station there where hundreds of men were crowded in sweltering cages without cots.

When detainees saw reporters arrive, many began shouting, saying they had been there for 40 days or more and they were hungry and wanted to brush their teeth. Agents guarding the cages were wearing face masks. The press pool covering the vice-president was removed within 90 seconds.

At least at one point, it didn’t seem that many of the people who ICE wanted to round up were actually rounded up. If ICE wanted to remove those who they claim are criminals, why are they waiting to round them up – just do it. If they are actual criminals. And of course advertising that there would be a round-up doesn’t help as those who believe are criminals will just leave a big city [as ICE is concentrating on big cities] and go ‘underground” for a while. Hide in a nice small rural Republican town.

A new rule bars migrants from seeking asylum in the United States if they’ve traveled through another country first. Tens of thousands of migrant families from Central America travel through Mexico to the US each month, many claiming asylum. The Trump administration claims families are taking advantage of legal loopholes it says allow migrants a free pass to the country while they wait out supposedly false asylum requests.

US law allows refugees to request asylum when they arrive at the US regardless of how they did so. But there’s an exception for those who have come through a country considered “safe”. Now is Mexico considered “safe”? The rule is almost certain to face a legal challenge.

Federal search warrants detail how Trump and his allies scrambled in the final weeks of the 2016 campaign to arrange a hush-money deal to hide his alleged affair and contain the fallout from related stories in the press. The internal chaos consumed Trump, then-attorney Michael Cohen, campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks and even reached campaign manager Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway.

If negotiations between Washington and Beijing falter, Trump has vowed to place tariffs on all of America’s imports from China. Book publishers are warning that those tariffs will cause the price of printing the Bible to soar and potentially spark shortages as most US publishers print the Bible in China because of the high cost and complexity involved in printing a text with roughly 800,000 words. HarperCollins Christian Publishing, a leading Bible publisher, estimates that about three-quarters of its Bible manufacturing expenses are in China.

China threatened to impose sanctions against any US companies who sold weapons to Taiwan as the Trump administration authorized a $2.2 billion US arms sale to Taiwan. What US companies who sell arms also sell to China?

In a future trade war looking Trump tweeted “India has long had a field day putting Tariffs on American products. No longer acceptable!” So he can dump tariffs on India but not vice versa?

Great quote from a voter: “At this point, I’d vote for BLT sandwich over Trump.”

Trump retweeted a meme which in a fake quote where Ronald Reagan said “For the life of me, and I’ll never know how to explain it, when I met that young man, I felt like I was the one shaking hands with the president.” Trump also wasn’t that young in 1987. For a man who whines about “fake news”, he’s spreading it.

This has been such a busy week, looks like I’ll do another blog on the lesser stories of the week in a couple of days.

Trump’s national emergency challenged on all fronts

So far, sixteen states filed a lawsuit challenging Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration. Led by the California Attorney General, it was filed the lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. The attorneys general from Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia joined California in the lawsuit.

The Center for Biological Diversity, Border Network for Human Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union also announced lawsuits. At the core of each lawsuit is the argument that Trump is circumventing Congress to fund the wall along the US-Mexico border by declaring an emergency.

Not surprising Trump tried to hit back at California after the lawsuit announcement by tweeting “The failed Fast Train project in California, where the cost overruns are becoming world record setting, is hundreds of times more expensive than the desperately needed Wall!” Trump of course exaggerates especially when a mile of the Trump Wall is expected to cost $25 million. No whining about the other 15 states?

Just 24 hours after California and 15 other states filed a lawsuit challenging Trumps “national emergency” that the Department of Transportation cancelled a nearly $1 billion grant for California to build a high speed rail line. The grant stipulated to build the rail line and said nothing about the rail cars that would be used. Trump used the words “fast train” in a tweet instead of the adult sounding “high speed rail”.

Right after declaring a national emergency, Trump went golfing.

House Democrats introduced a resolution to block Trump’s effort to build a wall on the southern border through his emergency powers, setting up votes in Congress to rebuke Trump’s proclamation. The Democratic-controlled House appears all but certain to pass the resolution Tuesday and put pressure on Republicans in the Senate, many of whom have concerns with Trump’s action.

Key members of the Trump administration pushed a plan to sell nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia in the months after the inauguration despite objections from members of the National Security Council and other senior White House officials, according to a new report from congressional Democrats.

The 24-page report from the House Oversight and Reform Committee is based on internal White House documents and the accounts of unnamed whistle blowers. It said the objectors — including White House lawyers and National Security Council officials — opposed the plan out of concern that it violated laws designed to prevent the transfer of nuclear technology that could be used to support a weapons program.

Trump tweeted “Wow, so many lies by now disgraced acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. He was fired for lying, and now his story gets even more deranged. He and Rod Rosenstein, who was hired by Jeff Sessions (another beauty), look like they were planning a very illegal act, and got caught….. This was the illegal and treasonous “insurance policy” in full action!” Mr. Trump, what is the definition of the word treason?

McCabe recently came out with a memoir called “The Threat” and not surprising those in the Trump administration are fighting back the best they could. Not surprised they were calling McCabe a “disgrace”, a “liar”, Trump’s “illegal and treasonous”. Interesting how they were quiet before the book was released. The book’s release date was delayed because due to the lengthy pre-publication review process conducted by the Justice Department and FBI. I would guess that both of them didn’t have much objection to the content.

The White House argues that McCabe has no credibility because he is under criminal investigation for allegedly misleading investigators in their probe of the FBI’s handling of the investigation into the Clinton Foundation. But he suggested that an independent departmental report used as justification for his dismissal was improperly influenced by Trump.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia [and related] investigation could be complete as early as next week. Attorney General William Barr may be preparing to announce the completion of the Russia investigation.

Rosenstein is expected to leave the Justice Department in mid-March, according to a Justice Department official. A departure next month could potentially serve as another signal that special counsel Robert Mueller’s work is coming to a close.

A judge has approved a request from Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen to delay his date to report to prison from March 6 to May 6. In the request, Cohen’s lawyers cited his recent shoulder surgery and upcoming congressional testimony as reasons to delay the report date.

A report came out said that Trump called acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker late last year to ask whether it was possible that Geoffrey Berman, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, who was recused from the case, could take over anyway.

Prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney’s office have prepared a criminal case against Paul Manafort in the event that he receives a presidential pardon. The New York state attorney general’s office has also been putting together a case against Manafort. Although double jeopardy laws generally prevent defendants from being prosecuted twice for the same offense, New York has a tax-related exemption.

The revolving door continues. White House officials have begun to have preliminary discussions about replacing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats amid concerns that Trump may soon dismiss him, despite Trump’s public denial he’s considering the move. Of course we have heard this before.

Trump said he intends to nominate the current American ambassador to Canada, Kelly Knight Craft, to be the new US ambassador to the United Nations. Craft would be replacing the popular [and one of the very few competent people under Trump’s nominees] Nikki Haley. Trump’s announcement comes a week after his first pick to replace Haley, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, withdrew her candidacy.

You would figure that the Trump Wall would be built near the actual border but in some cases the Trump Wall could be as far as a half a mile away from the actual from the border turning the land between the actual border into no-man’s land.

Actor Alec Baldwin reprised his Trump impersonation for an “SNL” skit that recreated the president’s speech about the border, the budget, and assorted other subjects. Then Trump’s tweet asked “How do the Networks get away with these total Republican hit jobs without retribution? Likewise for many other shows? Very unfair and should be looked into.”

Peter Baker of The New York Times noted on Twitter that “no other president in decades publicly threatened ‘retribution’ against a television network because it satirized him.” In the past, Trump has also suggested that NBC station licenses should be challenged, without any evident follow-up.

After Trump’s tweet, Baldwin tweeted, “I wonder if a sitting President exhorting his followers that my role in a TV comedy qualifies me as an enemy of the people constitutes a threat to my safety and that of my family?”

Mike Pence was in Munich for a security conference when Pence announces “I bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump”. Now Pence paused for about 5 seconds or so, expecting to get some applause but none [noticeable] came. Awkward!

Meanwhile, also speaking at the same Conference, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called out the Trump administration over Trump’s claim that German cars pose a security threat. Merkel says a large chunk of BMW cars are built in the US. Ivanka Trump was at the conference.

Puppet, Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders said that “The President far and away was the better candidate. He had a better message and he outworked Hillary Clinton. That’s why he’s President. He didn’t need to, nor did he, collude with the Russians.” She might as well record what she wants to say to save her voice.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has refused to deny that he nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in helping to ease tensions with North Korea. Do you blame him? Trump has claimed week that Abe had submitted the nomination to the Nobel committee. A Japanese newspaper reports that Abe made the recommendation after the US government “informally” sought his support for the prestigious award in the wake of the historic US-North Korean summit in Singapore last June. Trump made frequent references to the Nobel peace prize, saying in May last year that “everyone thinks” he deserves it.

Trump recently criticized European allies for not taking back their own captured citizens. Many countries are reluctant to repatriate them because of the difficulty of prosecuting suspected ISIS members based on evidence collected on the battlefield, causing frustration among US national security officials.

Some 59 Americans are believed to have joined the Islamic State, and 13 have faced terror-related charges after being returned to the US. Many more are believed to have died on the battlefield. Us citizens are small in numbers compared to the UK and France who have hundreds who went to fight.

Trump said that he directed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to allow Hoda Muthana, an Alabama woman who left in November 2014 to join ISIS, to return to the United States — despite her recent public plea to come back and stand trial in America.

“Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States. She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States,” Pompeo said in a statement.

Under US law Muthana would be a US citizen by nature of her birth in the country, though the State Department could argue that her claim to citizenship is flawed because of the immigration status of her parents at the time of her birth. A family representative of Muthana showed her birth certificate to the press.

[Personally, she should be allowed back in the US to stand trial. You can’t remove someone’s citizenship for someone born in the country – especially without any type of legal proceedings. A court should decide her citizenship. Trump and Pompeo have no right to do this. Soon, they will use this tactic to toss out US born citizens for robbing a bank or maybe just a speeding ticket.]

Muthana filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, DC, to prevent what he calls an “unlawful attempt” by the United States to rescind his daughter’s citizenship. The lawsuit filed by her father “seeks injunctive relief preventing the United States government from unconstitutionally robbing [Muthana and her son] of their rights as United States citizens.”

Regarding the Jussie Smollett “scandal”, Trump got in the act [surprised?] by tweeting “@JussieSmollett – what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!?” The so-called attackers were Trump supporters after the attack. This coming from a man who has made racist comments to just about anyone not part of his base supporters.

Could this happen in November?

I can see this happening after the mid-term elections: After devastating loses, Vice-President Mike Pence groups his henchmen and backers and say enough is enough. He now has a good excuse now to drop Donald Trump. He let Trump be in office long enough and will finally side with the Democrats to toss Trump out by either impeachment, maybe even treason or maybe something even more serious.

How else would politicians such as Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell stick with Trump after Trump went after them during and after the primaries? Just look at the comments Trump made at Ted Cruz’s father? And yet Cruz is still backing Trump – for now.

All this so that Pence could have 2 full years and he hopes for 8 additional years as the new dictator/president of the US.

Pence knew with Trump’s instability he could get into the Oval Office faster than an election after primaries. Also it’s cheaper. He’s not paying loads of cash if he was running an election. [He wasn’t doing well in the cash department before he became Vice-President.]

Aside from a Vice-President salary, you get to live in a place paid by the government. You don’t have to worry about food, electricity, cable, security, Internet, … And the added bonus of kickbacks!