Trump and company lawyering up

Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Donald Trump for obstruction of justice. The three officials Mueller is interviewing are Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers and Richard Ledgett, the recently retired deputy NSA director. Mueller has been tasked with leading the executive branch’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and any potential collusion between Russia and Trump associates. It took a few days but Trump finally admitted he was under investigation but not specifically notified.

The Justice Department is also looking into the financial dealings of Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Trump’s longtime attorney and adviser Michael Cohen has hired a lawyer to represent him in the investigations into Russian meddling. Even Mike Pence has brought in a personal lawyer.

“Never has there been a president….with few exceptions…who’s passed more legislation, who’s done more things than I have,” said Trump this past week in a cabinet meeting. Oh ya? Aside from executive orders which are mostly like request, there was nothing passed by congress itself. Every new cabinet secretary sucked up to Trump with praise and other positive comments followed by all the other secretaries.

During the campaign, Trump signed a “Contract With the American Voter,” in which he promised to work with Congress to introduce 10 bills “and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration.” But he only had introduced one – the American Health Care Act – and the initial version was never voted on. The second version passed by a single vote but will probably not pass the Republican controlled senate. Experts agree it is impossible to pass 10 legislative bills in the first 100 days.

Trump said that after the shooting in Virginia, where a Republican congressman and others were shot, that the shootings could bring unity to a divided nation. He wishes that. We wish it. But I doubt it. Just look at some comments that came after the shooting and after the shooter was found to be anti-Trump. Some Republicans said the shooting happened because of the Democrats – either their rhetoric or their actions.

Oh, the Democrats won 11-2. But at least the booing was toned down, even when Trump was on the video screen prior to the game.

In the weirdness of Washington, Mike Pence’s lawyer is the godfather of Comey’s daughter. That’s “the swamp” for you.

The state of Maryland and the District of Columbia plan to sue Trump, alleging that he has violated the Constitution by accepting foreign money through his business empire, according to a person familiar with the plans. The suit will allege that Trump has violated the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which prohibits the president from accepting payments from foreign governments without the consent of Congress, according to the person. It will cite not just the president’s luxury hotel in Washington but his worldwide network of hotels, golf courses and other commercial properties The suit will argue that Maryland and the District of Columbia have been harmed by Trump’s ongoing ownership of the business. They plan to cite convention centers and other properties in Maryland and the district that compete with the Trump hotel.

Trump keeps on playing around whether or not there are tape recordings of conversations [in the Oval Office] between he and others such as Comey. A sort of un-presidential hide and seek. Is he hiding something? Maybe there are tapes and the tapes show him doing things he shouldn’t have.

A close friend of Trump suggests that Trump wanted to dismiss special counsel Robert Mueller, who is appointed to lead the FBI investigation into Russia’s potential ties to the 2016 election. Legally, the attorney general is the one who has to fire him. [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions is recused here, so it would be up to [Deputy Attorney General] Rod Rosenstein, who was the person who just appointed Bob Mueller a couple of weeks ago. Respected by both parties, but Mueller has brought in three lawyers [among the others] who have donated to the Democrats in the past.

Adam Schiff said if Mueller was ousted, Congress would have to re-establish the Independent Counsel Act that expired following the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

Newt Gingrich tweeted in mid-May “Robert Mueller is superb choice to be special counsel. His reputation is impeccable for honesty and integrity.” 4 weeks later he says ” Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair.”

Trump accused Comey of “cowardly” leaks and predicted many more from him. “Totally illegal?” he asked in a tweet. “Very ‘cowardly!'” Wondering if he knows the definition of coward.

In a sarcastic outburst, Russian President Vladimir Putin scoffed at former FBI director James Comey’s disclosure of his conversations with Trump, saying the move has made Comey eligible for political asylum in Russia.

Donald Trump Jr said in an interview on Fox News that when his father says to do something – no matter how he says it – you do it.

Trump reported hundreds of millions of dollars in income Friday in financial disclosure forms that shed more light on his vast business holdings. At his golf courses alone, Trump reported $288 million in income in the past year The numbers were reported in a 98-page disclosure form signed by Trump this week and made public by the Office of Government Ethics. The report covers January 2016 through April 15, 2017. This is not his tax returns.

Chief of Staff Reince R. Priebus is said to have until the Independence Day holiday to put the West Wing in order. If he fails to do so, Trump may reportedly ship him off to serve as the ambassador to Greece.

While Trump berates Qatar for sponsoring terrorism at the highest levels, he is simultaneously authorizing the country to purchase over $21 billion of 36 F-15QA fighter jets. Maybe he’ll send those to Hamas or Hezbollah. The Qatari ambassador to the U.S. tweeted “…creating 60,000 new jobs in 42 states across the United States.” Sounds to me like he was told to say that – something the administration would want.

NBC’s Megyn Kelly’s forthcoming interview with controversial media personality Alex Jones. His extreme right wing views has some of her sponsors dropping her at least for the show. Jones called Sandy Hook and Aurora hoaxes. Jones has said Sandy Hook massacre could have been a “false flag” operation to win support for new gun control measures. Trump was interviewed by Jones during the 2016 campaign, and he reportedly thanked Jones for his support after winning the election.

Another federal appeals court has upheld a decision blocking Trump’s revised travel ban. This ruling from a unanimous three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals deals the administration another legal defeat as the Supreme Court considers a separate case on the issue. The judges say the president violated U.S. immigration law by discriminating against people based on their nationality and that Trump failed to show their entry into the country would hurt American interests.

Trump tweeted in early June “In any event we are EXTREME VETTING people coming into the U.S. in order to help keep our country safe. The courts are slow and political!” It sounds like his so-called extreme vetting is being used but I wonder if it is any different than vetting done 6 months ago. The courts are always slow – they want to come out with the proper answer – not some sloppy decision making Trump is accustomed to. As for the political part, not all of the justices – who are supposed to be impartial – are Democrats.

The proposed changes in US-Cuba relations that Trump will unveil in Miami could adversely impact hotel brands that directly compete with Trump’s business empire, making it more difficult for them expand their foothold in Cuba. Trump’s changes in Cuba policy include prohibiting “financial transactions, including transactions incidental to travel with GAESA and its affiliates, subsidiaries, and successors.” Gaviota, the tourism arm of the government-run GAESA, currently operates the Four Points by Sheraton Havana.

Melania Trump finally moved into her not so new digs with son Barron. We will see if this will have some type of change on the hubby. The good thing is the cost to protect the family will drop as they will rarely be in New York. I’m sure the city of New York is also happy with the extra costs as well as traffic issues.

Trump hosted 13 Republican senators for lunch at the White House in a bid to help the lawmakers find common ground to move forward with health care reform legislation this summer. He would probably have to add more funding in order to get some law approved.

A Democratic congressman introduced the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement or COVFEFE act with the goal of ensuring presidential social media posts are archived. It would amend the Presidential Records Act to include the term social media.

There are 21 states where someone bought the vanity license place “COVFEFE” by checking online. This is one.

In addition some are using the alternative spelling “COVF3F3”. Not all states have the option to check online.

The Guardian reported that Trump told Prime Minister Theresa May that he doesn’t want to come to the UK if there will be protests — a likely prospect. [On top of that, May’s government may not even last that long.] London Mayor Sadiq Khan last week said the visit should be called off, after Trump insulted him in tweets following the London Bridge attack.

Strike two for Trump

In a 3-0 ruling, the 9th Circuit rules against reinstating travel ban from Donald Trump’s executive order which [among other things] banned people from entering in 7 countries. “The government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States,” the judges wrote.

Trump has already tweeted that he may go to the Supreme Court. But given that the Supreme Court currently lacks its ninth member, there a real chance of a 4-4 split on the bench along ideological lines, which would have the effect of affirming the ruling of the 9th Circuit, inflicting a more permanent blow to the new administration.

The court chastised the Trump administration for failing to provide an explanation for how national security concerns justified an “urgent need” for the executive order to be immediately reinstated.

Even after Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, said to Sen. Richard Blumenthal that he found Trump’s attack on a federal judge on Twitter “disheartening” and “demoralizing” and an aide to Gorsuch spokesman confirmed that Gorsuch said those words [as well as other senators], Trump claims Gorsuch never said those words. “Alt-words“? We will see if he stays impartial like this if confirmation.

Then Trump said Sen. Blumenthal never fought in Vietnam – associating this “lie” with a misrepresentation. Blumenthal apologized for misrepresenting his service but enlisted in the Marine Reserve after multiple deferments. Trump, on the hand, never enlisted, instead obtaining multiple student deferments and ultimately a medical deferment for a bone spur to avoid the military draft.

Even nuttier, propaganda department spokesman, Sean Spicer, is claiming that Gorsuch’s comments is not about Trump.

“But courts seem so political…” Trump said in a speech. Well, when the Supreme Court is divided by political parties and Trump has already nominated a Republican judge, well it is one thing he got right all week.

Both Republicans and Democrats are distancing themselves from Trump. In an interview on GP friendly Fox News, Trump said “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?” After Bill O’Reilly said about Vladimir Poutine, “But he’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer.” During Putin’s years in power, a number of prominent Russian opposition figures and journalists have been killed.

Trump seems to care more about his daughter Ivanka’s fashion line got dumped by Nordstrom store chain by tweeting about the issue. But where was he at that time [according to a schedule]? In a national security briefing. So his daughter’s petty issues take precedence over national security? The same man who whines about the security of the country as the reason to have that 7 country ban? [It is possible a lackey of his tweeted the message but no indication of that.]

Nordstrom claimed it was because of declining sales. White House propaganda specialist, Sean Spicer, claims because it was because of the ban on 7 countries. Indirectly it could be as people who would buy her junk, maybe stopped because of her father’s politics. This also goes back to the original issue of Trump [and family] separating themselves from the family business.

After the Nordstrom mess, there is talk of how Trump can still run his Washington hotel. The hotel is on government land and he spent millions to convert to a hotel but part of the deal was no government employee could own the hotel. Clearly, he is a government employee.

There are rumors flying that Trump could appoint Sarah Palin as US Ambassador to Canada. A Canadian MP says if Palin was named the top U.S. representative to Canada, it would be tantamount to having to deal with two Donald Trumps. If you recall, Palin claimed she could see Russia from her state of Alaska. It is 55 miles away. She must have good eyes. 🙂

There are 693 high-level positions that require Senate confirmation to be filled. Trump’s tram has filled 35 at this stage. In comparison, Obama filled 38 in 2009. But 8 years ago Obama had 23 member of his administration filled. Trump has 8 with Jeff Sessions confirmed. In total, there are 1,200 positions that require Senate confirmation and about 4,100 appointed positions.

Trump tweeted it was a “disgrace that my full Cabinet is still not in place, the longest such delay in the history of our country,” charging, “Obstruction by Democrats!” But Obama’s Cabinet wasn’t completely confirmed until late April 2009. Democrats contend the administration has failed to fully vet the nominees.

In an early February poll, it showed CNN/ORC’s latest poll results, starting with 44% approval and 53% disapproval of Trump’s job performance. As for the travel ban, 53% of Americans oppose the travel ban, 47% in favor. 90% of Republicans think he’s doing a good job. [I guess that part of the poll is fine with him but he still may disallow the poll as not a 100% of Republicans like him.]

“Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election” tweeted Trump. So if it does show favorable results, it’s fake. During the campaign trail, when the polls turned sour, he made unfounded claims about “crooked polls” and “They are rigged just like before” just before taking office.

“People want border security and extreme vetting” tweeted Trump. He obviously didn’t get that from any real poll. Maybe in his mind though.

Nice, in a call with the Australian Prime Minister, Trump hung up on him. The great statesman.

From my previous blog, Kellyanne Conway claimed she made a mistake just once using the word “massacre” when Conway brought up her infamous “masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre” with MSNBC but she used the same phrase when interviewed by Cosmopolitan 4 days earlier [quote wasn’t printed at the time because the reporter couldn’t find anything about that massacre]. Later she told Fox News that her “haters” would be talking about it “for a week.” [She’s finally right!]

The chief information security officer for the White House’s Executive Office of the President has been removed from his position. Cory Louie was appointed to the position by former President Obama in 2015, charged with keeping safe the staff closest to the president — including the president himself — from cyber-threats posed by hackers and nation-state attackers. It’s thought he was either fired or asked to resign one evening recently, and was escorted out from his office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across the street from the West Wing.

Now everything is quite but one source said it’s because the remaining staff have “targets on their back” and are afraid of speaking out, calling the actions a “witch hunt” for former Obama appointees. Accusations of poor management were said to be reasons or excuses for his forced departure amid what was described as a “toxic” working environment. Maybe Louie asked Trump not to use his personal Twitter account – especially on his unsecure Android phone.

Mike Pence had to vote in favor of confirming Betsy DeVos as Trump’s education secretary – showing that not all Republicans are happy with the choice [or Trump]. Not a good sign.

Andrew Puzder, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Labor Department, employed an undocumented immigrants for years, the business magnate said in a statement. He later said at one point up to 40% of them were undocumented.

Melania Trump has re-filed a libel lawsuit against the corporation that publishes the Daily Mail’s website, this time in New York, for reporting rumours that she worked as an escort. It could hurt her chances to promote products, “each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which Plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world.” Asking $150 million. Funny. I don’t see her ever endorsing anything. In addition, I don’t remember any previous First Lady [while in office] endorsing anything. She hasn’t appeared in public at one point for almost 3 weeks and she is claiming to be photographed so much?

[If you recall, when Melania came to the US to model in one of Trump’s agencies, according to sites on the Internet she did not have a work visa. But according to some reports she hauled in something like $20,000 over 3 months. Probably unless you are a known model you don’t make that much money. So what else did she do? Hmmmm.]

Trump accused the media of deliberately minimizing coverage of threat posed by the Islamic State group, saying news outlets “have their reasons” for not reporting what he described as a “genocide” underway at the hands of group. White House released a list of 78 attacks it described as “executed or inspired by” the Islamic State group since September 2014. The AP could not verify that each of the incidents had connections to the Islamic State group. The list appeared to be hastily assembled, including several misspellings of the word “attacker”. [Surprised?]

As a professional attention seeker, Trump is whining that the media does not report terrorist attacks in Europe “…And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it.” It’s not that they don’t want to report some but it’s because according to the Global Terrorism Database, maintained by the University of Maryland, of the 321 attacks in Europe in 2015, many were not reported [in the US] because while there was damage, few had any deaths and they weren’t newsworthy. I don’t think people want to see daily terrorist attacks in the news in addition to the other news. It is not dishonest. News editors have to decide whether it is a good news story and whether those following their news will want to see it.

Trump visited the headquarters for U.S. Central Command where he said “we strongly support NATO”. Huh? Didn’t he want to leave NATO during his campaigning? Trump once dismissed the trans-Atlantic military alliance as “obsolete,” and said he would decide whether to protect NATO countries against Russian aggression based on whether those countries “have fulfilled their obligations to us.”

The Trump administration has started removing language praising the Affordable Care Act from federal websites. It has made several changes to the online pages of the Health & Human Services Department, which oversees the law.

In another false claim, Trump says the murder rate in the US is at a 47 year high. In fact, it has dropped from 1970 at 8 murders per 100,000 to 4.9 murders in 2015.

Trump says California’s consideration of legislation to become a statewide sanctuary for people living in the country illegally is “ridiculous.” He suggested withholding federal funding as a possible punishment. He seems to use that against anyone who doesn’t follow his rules.

Trump is already back paddling on the plans to enact a complete replacement for the Affordable Care Act. “I would like to say by the end of the year, at least the rudiments, but we should have something within the year and the following year.”

A $50 book about Donald Trump was displayed at the very front of the National Museum of American History’s gift shop right after the inauguration, its red-white-and-blue cover featuring Trump’s “signature” stare-and-hair. The book contains a series of false assertions such as he won but had just 200,000 less votes than Hillary Clinton, “is a kind-hearted philanthropist and humanitarian” [but hasn’t given to his own foundation in years], etc. The book was pulled from the shop within 48 hours of release. [I guess if you got one it’s a collector’s item now.]
 

Oh another Trump week

Donald Trump heatedly rejected the growing list of sexual assault allegations against him as “pure fiction”, hammering his female accusers [at least 9 of them] as “horrible, horrible liars”. Similar behavior was detailed by women who accused Trump in articles published by The New York Times and the Palm Beach Post.

[If one made claims or even two, there could be some doubt. But when at least five – that doubt diminishes. Add to the tape and his overall comments about women.]

Trump claims that he wouldn’t be caught with any of them women whom have come forward but he is comparing what they look now and not when the allegations occurred – some thirty years or more ago.

He was preparing evidence that would discredit his female accusers and he claimed he would do it at the right time. [This is the equivalent of code word meaning he has nothing and is trying to dig up dirt – most likely to discredit them instead of the accusations.] He said he “never met” some of the women. At least one accuser said it happened about a year after the marriage of his third [and current – for now] wife who was pregnant at the time.

“These vicious claims about me, of inappropriate conduct with women, are totally and absolutely false. And the Clintons know it,” he said. He offered no evidence discrediting the new reports except to ask why his accusers had waited years and then made their allegations less than a month before the election. Aside from the Clintons, he’s blaming the left wing media and even the Republican party.

Trump campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, who earlier in the week highlighted a Clinton tweet that said “every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.” Conway hoped to encourage more women to come forward with allegations against Bill Clinton but instead are coming out against Trump.

Trump tried to force The New York Times to retract their article “Two women Say Donald Trump Touched Them Inappropriately”. The times lawyers sent Trump’s lawyers a reply that they could shove it [not in those words] and “we welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight”. Here is Trump’s lawyers’ request. [The webmaster should of numbered these. There could be more.]

Meanwhile, some pageant contestants claim Trump would visit them while in various state of undress [usually while changing into or out of bikinis] at his pageants when he owned them. He would stay there long enough and the contestants wouldn’t have enough time to cover up when he came in. [Maybe goes with his lust for young women.]

On the “Apprentice” show that was hosted by Trump, “Trump repeatedly demeaned women with sexist language” and “said he rated female contestants by the size of their breasts and talked about which ones he’d like to have sex with.” Supposedly there could be footage. But “Apprentice” producer Mark Burnett and his company’s owner, MGM, said that that he and MGM have “various contractual and legal requirements also restrict MGM’s ability to release such material.”

There is even an unverified claim that there’s a contractual penalty of $5 million for any Burnett employee who disclosed proprietary information about the show.”

Trump running mate Mike Pence ditched the national reporters who pay to travel with his campaign in Pennsylvania because of the questions asked.

Anyone ever notice that while the presidential candidate is above the running mate, when you compare Clinton and Tim Kaine, they are generally the same font size but Trump’s name is generally double the size of Pence?

Trump suggested that Clinton has been “getting pumped up” with performance-enhancing drugs and challenged Clinton to take a drug test before the final debate next week. Trump argued that Clinton was more energetic during the beginning of their debate last Sunday, but lost her steam by the end of the debate. He offered no evidence to back up his wild claim. “Athletes, they make them take a drug test. I think we should take a drug test prior to the debate,” Trump said. “I’m willing to do it.” Athletes are tested for cheating.

Trump finds another “broken,” “rigged” and “disastrous” policy to undo or abolish and then he says “I alone can fix it.”

“The truth is our immigration system is worse than anybody ever realized,” but offers no proof.

“I’m telling you, November 8th, we’d better be careful because that election is going to be rigged,” again with no proof.

“If the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly and didn’t put false meaning into the words I say, I would be beating Hillary by 20%.” Sure Donald.

“Because of me, everyone now sees that the Republican primary system is totally rigged and broken,” said Trump – but if it’s rigged, how did he win?

“I mean, PACs — you know, these super PACs are a disaster, by the way, folks,” said Trump but he uses their money – well the few that support him.

“Because of NAFTA, signed by (Hillary Clinton’s) husband, is perhaps the greatest disaster trade deal in the history of the world. Not in this country. It stripped us of manufacturing jobs,” Trump said but again with no way to prove this.

Even after shocking Americans in the debate regarding prosecuting Hillary Clinton for her mail server issues, Trump continues to push the subject even though Clinton was cleared by the Department of Justice and there was no indication that the server was compromised. [For all we know there server was more secure than the government servers – some of which had breaches.]

Trump claimed that there is a “whole sinister deal going on” that has prevented Ryan and other Republican leaders from fully backing his campaign but he didn’t elaborate. Of course no explanation of what “deal”.

Remember that in 2006, he suggested that if Ivanka Trump weren’t his daughter, “perhaps I’d be dating her.” And a review of hours of audio from the Republican nominee’s appearances on the Howard Stern show spanning nearly two decades, found Trump commenting on Ivanka Trump’s body more than once, including an exchange about her breast size. In September 2004, Stern asked Donald Trump whether he could refer to Ivanka Trump as a “piece of ass.” Trump, responded affirmatively, saying that he could. Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said that Ivanka and her father have a “beautiful relationship.”

Catholic and evangelical groups slammed Hillary Clinton’s campaign in a statement Thursday over comments revealed in the WikiLeaks emails hack between two high-level campaign officials. Dozens of religious leaders who signed the statement expressed their “outrage at the demeaning and troubling rhetoric used by those within Secretary Clinton’s campaign.” [So exactly what do they say about Trump? Nothing. Even though I think most can agree the “demeaning and troubling rhetoric” from the Trump campaign is more serious – aside from the recent allegations against Trump as well as previously mentioned throughout the campaign.

A [Canadian] CTV senior political commentator compared Trump’s rhetoric to Benito Mussolini who prior to World War II wanted to jail opposition leaders, segregation, etc.

At one rally, there were signs up saying “Blacks for Trump” behind Trump and yet you could only see one person who would be considered black. The others may or may not have been. [Unsure why Trump even bothers. The percentage of blacks saying they would vote for him is very low.]

A poll from the right leaning Fox News says that Clinton has a 7% lead. The majority of respondents said they did not believe Trump was qualified to be president, while 68% of them said Clinton was either “somewhat” or “very” qualified for the job. Additionally, a slim majority said Clinton was a “good role model,” while only one-in-five said the same for the Republican nominee.

Trump’s health plans offers nothing for fathers, or men who adopt, and that Trump hotels do not provide workers with paid maternity leave. [Ivanka Trump had said they do.] Donald Trump’s comments about how worker pregnancies are bad for employers had indeed been reported far and wide, despite Ivanka Trump’s attempts to say it was never mentioned.

Former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski parted ways with Trump in mid-June but his Green Monster firm received a $20,000 payment for “strategy consulting” on August 11, the same amount it has regularly been paid for months. [So he gets paid the same for less work. Nice.]

An Arizona newspaper is supporting a Democrat for the first time in over 100 years.

When morning TV news host Mika Brzezinski made some comments about Trump, Trump tweeted “Just heard that crazy and very dumb (Mika) had a mental breakdown while talking about me.” Now we know why the media doesn’t like Trump, according to Trump.

Reid Hoffman, the cofounder and executive chairman of LinkedIn pledged to donate up to $5 million to veterans organizations if Donald Trump releases his tax returns before the final presidential debate.

Trump’s running mate Pence and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani have been comparing Trump to Reagan. Yikes!