Trump signs first [of many] vetoes

In another busy week [is there ever a quiet week?], Donald Trump vetoed legislation attempting to strike down his declaration of a national emergency at the southern border. It will be the first time in his two years in office that Trump has used his presidential veto power to block legislation. Not surprising this is the first time. His administration has had a problem passing anything even when the GOP controlled both the House and Senate.

It is unlikely that Congress will have the two-thirds majority required to override Trump’s veto, though House Democrats will try nonetheless on March 26.

So far, at least seven lawsuits have been filed challenging the declaration. The argument at the core of each lawsuit is similar: Trump exceeded his authority and circumvented Congress in an attempt to achieve his signature campaign promise for an emergency that, plaintiffs argue, doesn’t exist.

Trump tweeted shortly after the Senate passed the resolution condemning his unilateral action. “I thank all of the Strong Republicans who voted to support Border Security and our desperately needed WALL!” Ummm. A dozen Republicans voted against him. Not a good sign.

Trump and White House aides making clear to Republican senators that a vote against Trump on this issue would have ramifications come re-election time. Still, a White House official said Trump won’t forget when senators who opposed him want him to attend fundraisers or provide other help. More thuggery. Trump said he had sympathy for the Republicans who voted against him and emphasized that he never truly twisted the arms of lawmakers, because he knew there were not enough votes to override the veto.

The Senate delivered a high-profile rebuke to Trump over his signature agenda issue when 12 Republicans joined Democrats to overturn Trump’s national emergency border declaration. The vote was 59-41, an overwhelming vote against the Trump’s executive action. However it isn’t enough to block Trump’s veto which he will do.

Trump had hoped the number of “yes” votes will stay below 60, aides say, a symbolic margin that he believes would save some embarrassment, though still require him to use his veto pen. But he reversed when asked if he would support a proposal to limit future national emergency declarations to 30 days which he could agree to – just not this national emergency. A number of prominent GOP lawmakers are against the emergency including Mitt Romney and Susan Collins.

“Prominent legal scholars agree that our actions to address the National Emergency at the Southern Border and to protect the American people are both CONSTITUTIONAL and EXPRESSLY authorized by Congress,” Trump wrote. I wouldn’t mind knowing which prominent legal scholars he is referring to. And “authorized”? The House hasn’t and it looks like the Senate won’t.

[If this is such a national emergency, why didn’t he pushed for this national emergency when he was elected? What has changed? Nothing. it is his signature election promise and one of many he has failed to do in his 26 months of this “presidency”. He couldn’t get anything passed even when “his” party had a majority for the first two party and definitely won’t when the Democrats took over the House.]

The House of Representatives passed a resolution with 420 members voting in favor of the resolution and zero voting against it. The resolution is calling for special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to be released to the public once it is completed. The resolution is not legally binding. So 185 Republicans vote in favor. But Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham moved to block a non-binding resolution in the Senate.

Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort will serve a total of seven and a half years in prison for two cases. The latest sentencing was for two charges: conspiracy against the US and conspiracy to obstruct justice for attempting to tamper with witnesses.

“I have not even given it a thought as of this moment,” Trump said. “It’s not something now that’s on my mind.” Trump reiterated that he felt “badly” for his former aide.

After Manafort’s second sentencing, Trump said “Today, again, no collusion. The other day, no collusion.” Except the second sentencing had nothing to do with his collusion problems. Manafort’s lawyer Kevin Downing repeated Trump’s comments saying “So that makes two courts… Two courts have ruled no evidence of any collusion with the Russians.”

If Trump pardons Manafort for his federal convictions, the ex-lobbyist could still face years in jail on state charges that are beyond his reach.

Ex-acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker did not deny in a closed congressional meeting that he had spoken with Trump about a case involving Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen. This is involving Cohen’s allegation that a pardon had been dangled in exchange for him staying loyal to the President, in which he was purportedly told he could be sure he had “friends in high places.”

At best, such a conversation would appear inappropriate and unethical since the President is the country’s top law enforcement officer. At worst it could again raise suggestions that Trump may have obstructed justice.

An attorney who said he had been speaking with Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani reassured Cohen in an April 2018 email that Cohen could “sleep well tonight” because he had “friends in high places.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he would obey the law if he receives a written request from Congress to turn over Trump’s tax returns. “I will consult with the legal department within Treasury, and I will comply with the law.”

Republicans, who have argued that Trump has the right to privacy, quickly made clear they believe any request from Democrats wouldn’t be lawful — opening up the possibility of an extended fight over whether Mnuchin will hand over the returns if a request is made. Trump came the first major Presidential candidate in 2016 to refuse citing an ongoing audit. [That’s one long audit.] House Democrats have been preparing to ask the Internal Revenue Service for Trump’s tax returns under an obscure provision that gives the leaders of the House and Senate tax-writing committees the power to request taxpayer information from the Treasury Department. It states that “the secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request.”

Trump says he does not see white nationalism as a rising threat around the world following an attack targeting Muslims in New Zealand that killed at least 49 people.

Trump was just doing what he [thought] could to raise spirits when he signed Bibles at an Alabama church for survivors of a tornado outbreak, many religious leaders say, though some are offended and others say he could have handled it differently. Other Presidents have signed Bibles but they were generally one offs and for special occasions.

Trump should have at least signed inside in a less ostentatious way according to some faith leaders. Others said he shouldn’t of signed them at all. One said “It almost felt like a desecration of the holy book to put his signature on the front writ large, literally.” Others said it could be seen as a blurring of church and state and an endorsement of Christianity over other religions.

Trump wants to sell the military. No not that way. There are 100+ country that have US military presence. Trump wants to charge countries for the manpower and resources plus a surcharge [to make a profit]. Judging by how much it costs to buy a screw, that will be one big bill! They did, however, said it would be on a case by case basis.

Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater and brother of Betsy Devos, proposed a plan to privatize the war in Afghanistan by turning military operations over to a mercenary force like his that wouldn’t be subject to Pentagon or civilian oversight and that would eventually fund itself by plundering the resources of the country. He sees that not only as a way of funding the occupation, but also as a way of making huge profits from the occupation of a foreign land. He envisages that as a template for future military adventures and seems to be in favor of deciding whether to engage in future oversees military operations not on the basis of US national interest concerns or human rights concerns but rather on the basis of whether a profit can be made. Not surprisingly, Trump seems to be in love with the idea.

Trump telling Breitbart News, “I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of Bikers for Trump — I have tough people, but they don’t play it tough until they go to a certain point and then it would be very, very bad.” Well, he should have support for the military but for military purposes – not to become thugs and do his dirty job – like say beat up Trump’s critics. The same goes for the police. Both groups should be impartial. As for bikers, not surprised he’d want to be associated with most or at least some of them. While not all, quite a few bikers belong to criminal gangs.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the Trump administration will deny or revoke visas for International Criminal Court staff. The move is meant to deter a potential investigation by the judicial body into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by US troops in Afghanistan. The restrictions include “persons who take or have taken action to request or further such an investigation.”

There is a legal phrase for this: Obstruction of justice. Something the administration is all too familiar with.

Over part of two tweets, Trump said “How do you impeach a man who is considered by many to be the President with the most successful first two years in history, especially when he has done nothing wrong and impeachment is for “high crimes and misdemeanors”?” OK. You can stop laughing now. Seriously. Stop!

After the GOP tweeted “The NY Attorney General called President Trump an “illegitimate president.” She has proven to have a vendetta against @realDonaldTrump & is using her position of power to baselessly smear the President & the work he’s done for the American people,” Trump retweeted that and added “All part of the Witch Hunt Hoax. Started by little [former NY Attorney General] Eric Schneiderman & [Governor Andrew] Cuomo. So many leaving New York!” There were 19.85 million in New York state in 2017 and 19.88 million in 2018. Yup. Leaving in droves! [This was a second tweet after the first one was deleted because he couldn’t spell Cuomo’s name correctly.]

Let’s not forget the Trump still has properties in New York such as his trump Tower. You don’t see him leaving the state.

According to excerpts from the forthcoming book “Kushner Inc.” obtained by New York Times, Trump told former Chief of Staff John Kelly he wanted Ivanka and Jared Kushner gone. The White House is denying these reports, calling the book “completely false.” Boy this could been interesting the next time they see each other. “Is it true daddy?”

After the latest Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet crash Trump tweeted “Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly,” Trump tweeted. “Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better. Split second decisions are needed, and the complexity creates danger. All this cost for very little gain.”

“I’m not an email person,” Trump said during a July 2016 news conference. “I don’t believe in it because I think it can be hacked” as if no Twitter accounts have been hacked ever. Is tweeting any better? You send out an Email, it does normally to a finite number of users. You tweet something, it does to everyone of your followers.

Trump is also a big supporter of Boeing and has been a salesman for them. Most recently during his trip to Vietnam last month where he oversaw the sale of 100 Boeing 737 MAX planes — 20 of those MAX 8 models — for $12.7 billion. Vietnam has put the order on hold until the reason for the crashes are identified.

Within 48 hours, Trump was forced to order the halting of the airplanes because after Canada grounded them, they weren’t flying anywhere except in the US and even passengers were worried about them.

After Trump accused “The Democrats have become an anti-Israel party. They’ve become an anti-Jewish party,” press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders wouldn’t say whether Trump believes Democrats hate Jews, which is what he reportedly told Republican donors over the weekend at his Florida estate.

When Sanders claimed that the Democrats refusal to specifically condemn a freshman lawmaker for her controversial comments amounted to an “abhorrent” display, she was asked whether Trump condemned Rep. Steve King’s comments noting that King has a history of making what can be called racist comments but only recently stripped of various committee postings. She deflected the question. The Democrats did condemn the freshman who also apologized.

Trump also claimed that Jews are switching to the Republican party. Of course various polls from the past few elections say that Jews vote for the Democrats anywhere between 70% and 80% of the time.

A vote this week on Yemen was the first time Congress invoked the decades-old War Powers Act to try to rein in a president. That resolution seeking to end US backing for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition fighting in Yemen was approved in the aftermath of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and is expected to be the subject of Trump’s second veto.

The Trump administration is proposing $2.7 trillion in spending cuts following a directive by Trump to reduce spending by 5% across federal agencies, except for defense spending, as part of its budget plan for fiscal year 2020, which begins on October 1. The Democrats already have said that Trump will not get the $8.6 billion he plans to request for the wall.

“President Trump added nearly $2 trillion to our deficits with tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, and now it appears his budget asks the American people to pay the price,” said Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth, chairman of the House Budget Committee. “With severe cuts to essential programs and services that would leave our nation less safe and secure, the Trump budget is as dangerous as it is predictable.”

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted that Trump’s “record of accomplishment is why he’ll win re-election,” a significant difference from comments the he made earlier in the week where he described how he thought some Democrats could beat Trump in the 2020 election.

One of the very few items that Trump managed to check off on his platform list is sinking. Unless the Trump administration lifts the punishing tariffs it has imposed on Mexican steel and aluminum imports — duties it also imposed on Canada — Mexico is prepared to keep the status quo with the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump tweets “Republican Approval Rating just hit 93%. Sorry Haters!” From which poll he gives no data. So his “poll” [the one he invented in his mind] says 7% don’t like him. Still not good.

In 2011, Trump questioned whether President Obama was a born American in addition to his academic record. According to the Washing Post [and in recent testimony by Michael Cohen], days after he had threatened his high school, college and college board not to release his grades or SAT scores. In fact, Trump wanted all of his transcripts [which were on paper only] to be given to alumni Trump could trust.

In the more than two years since Trump took office, he has not hosted a women’s championship sports team for a solo event at the White House. WNBA teams were frequently invited to the White House during the Obama, Bush, and Clinton administrations. NCAA women’s basketball champion teams have visited the White House for the previous five administrations. The sole exception is of a November 2017 event honoring multiple NCAA championship teams.

Case in point: The North Dakota State Bison NCAA division 2 football team were at the White House and again they were served Big Macs, fried chicken sandwiches and other fast food on silver platters using fine china. “We could’ve had chefs, we could have, but we had fast food — because I know you people.”

Trump suggested the decision was aimed at supporting American business. “We like American companies, OK?” he said. Trump encouraged the team to “go and eat up,” noting that he would have a sandwich at the podium himself, but it would cause “too big a stir” with the reporters present. Ya. Sure Donnie.

In the computer department:

A researcher from France has detected in an app, nicknamed “Yelp for Conservatives”, was found with an open API [a set of functions and procedures allowing the creation of applications] leaking reams of user data without any real hacking. The developer said the app is designed “to keep conservatives safe as they eat and shop” has not taken kindly to the findings. He’s accusing the researcher of hacking his database and has threatened legal recourse.

The same researcher found another app called “Donald Daters” [coincidentally also pro-Conservative] which leaked users’ names, photos, personal messages and users’ authentication tokens. It is a MAGA-themed dating experience.

A recent polls says that 50% support Cohen, 35% support Trump.

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Another crony sentenced

After his former 2016 campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced to just 47 months after the prosecution asked for 19 to 25 years, Donald Trump spinned it differently tweeted “Both the Judge and the lawyer in the Paul Manafort case stated loudly and for the world to hear that there was NO COLLUSION with Russia” as the conviction was for bank and tax fraud and not for colluding with Russia.

However, on the counts that Manafort wasn’t found guilty, it was only because a single individual held out on guilty on those counts. [One could say that the individual could be a Trump supporter who knew the consequences if found guilty on the Russian related charges.] But the less than four-year term shocked many legal observers and sparked looks of astonishment among prosecutors. The judge only said that collusion wasn’t an issue for him to consider in the case. He did not assess whether it happens or not.

A judge in Washington, who has been less well disposed toward Manafort, will sentence him next week in a separate case, in which he has been accused of lying to Mueller and breaching a plea deal.

“They should be ashamed of their horrendous treatment of Paul Manafort who they pressured relentlessly because, unlike Michael Cohen, he wouldn’t lie for them,” said Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani in a statement. Except, Manafort is accused of lying in the other court case.

Even Manafort’s lawyer said outside court: “There is absolutely no evidence that Paul Manafort was involved in any collusion with any government official from Russia.” Seems for them Russian collusion is way more important than tax fraud.

Trump went on a two hour rambling speech – sometimes swearing – at the Conservative Political Action Conference rambling about the usual: collusion, witch hunt, presidential harassment, Green New Deal, Hillary Clinton’s Emails, etc. Would you want to hear the same ramblings over and over again?

At CPAC, Trump says he’ll be signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech. “If they want our dollars and we give them by the billions,” Trump said, “they’ve got to allow people to speak.” We’ll see if it backfires when those speaking go against him. If so, what he does after. This was because a conservative activist was punched on the campus of the University of California Berkeley last month.

Trump also said that all of the territory of the ISIS caliphate in Syria has been taken back, despite previously saying something similar just days ago. “As of today or tomorrow, we will have 100% of the caliphate defeated.”

During a stopover in Alaska on the way back from Vietnam, Trump said 100% of the caliphate had been taken. An official of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces disputed that statement, saying that the fight is ongoing and that they were surprised by Trump’s statement.

Trump said as well that he was being “sarcastic” when he asked Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s emails. If so, why does he keep on bringing it up? 28 months later, he still thinks the Democrats will null and void his election win and talks about Clinton’s emails. And yet, there is no way to erase his 28 months in office. He is [like it or not] the 45th president. Yes. It’s a form of fear mongering and definitely lying.

Trump claimed he fired former FBI Director James Comey in 2017 claiming “the good news is that this is going to be so bipartisan, everyone’s going to love it” since the Democrats were angry at Comey because of his investigation right before the election.

Trump said regarding possible obstruction from the firing of Comey “If you use your rights, if you use your power, if you use Article Two, it is called obstruction. But only for Trump, for nobody else.” So there are laws that don’t apply to him.

Trump reacted to a House vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, saying, without evidence, that the Democratic party is “anti-Jewish”. The House of Representatives passed a resolution broadly condemning hate and intolerance, including anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim discrimination, in the wake of controversy over Democratic freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar.

The vote was 407-23. Twenty-three Republicans voted against the measure, and all Democrats – including Omar – who voted in support of the resolution. But it seems like it is the Republicans who are against the resolution broadly condemning hate and intolerance, including anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim discrimination.

A photo published in the Miami Herald shows the founder and one-time owner of a spa, Li Yang, implicated in a human-trafficking ring attended Trump’s Super Bowl watch party at his West Palm Beach country club in February. Yang snapped a blurry selfie with a smiling Trump, who turned in his chair to look over his right shoulder for the photo.

Nineteen days later, Trump’s long-time friend and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged with soliciting prostitution at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in nearby Jupiter, which Yang had founded more than a decade earlier. None of the spas are registered to Yang or her family. They were sold 6 years ago and the current owner was charged with racketeering and running a house of prostitution and has pleaded not guilty.

Trump had pressured his then-chief of staff John Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn to grant his daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump a security clearance against their recommendations. While Trump has the legal authority to grant clearances, most instances are left up to the White House personnel security office, which determines whether a staffer should be granted one after the FBI has conducted a background check.

But after concerns were raised by the personnel office, Trump pushed Kelly and McGahn to make the decision on his daughter and son-in-law’s clearances so it did not appear as if he was tainting the process to favor his family, sources told CNN. After both refused, Trump granted them their security clearances.

Trump pressured Gary Cohn, the former director of the National Economic Council, to tell the Justice Department to block AT&T’s Time Warner deal. At the heart of the theories is Trump’s public dislike of CNN, which was a division of Time Warner, and his close relationship with Fox News. Justice Department filed its lawsuit to block the deal.

While Trump openly criticized the AT&T-Time Warner deal, he publicly congratulated Murdoch for selling most of 21st Century Fox to Disney even before the deal had received regulatory approval. Rupert Murdoch is a close friend of Trump and the Murdoch family will make more than two billion dollars.

“FEMA has been told directly by me to give the A Plus treatment to the Great State of Alabama and the wonderful people who have been so devastated by the Tornadoes,” Trump tweeted. But some are questioning whether he is biased towards areas of the country that were hit by disasters but in areas that favor Trump over the Democrats. He was less than positive to the devastations in California [pull funding] and Puerto Rico [blame local leaders for slow relief efforts].

“When the Republicans had the Majority they never acted with such hatred and scorn! The Dems are trying to win an election in 2020 that they know they cannot legitimately win!” tweeted Trump. So he is already suggesting that Democrats cannot beat him fairly — raising the specter that if he loses next November, he will suggest that the election was not legitimate.

In the unemployment and employment section:

The White House is expected to announce that Trump will nominate Kelley Eckels Currie to serve as an ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues. That position, established under President Barack Obama’s administration, had been vacant since Trump took office. Currie currently serves as the representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Lynne Patton, a long time Trump family associate who made a controversial appearance at last week’s House hearing with Michael Cohen, says she has the President’s blessing to follow in his footsteps as a reality TV star, even as she serves as a high-ranking federal housing official. She will appear on a still-developing show about black Republicans.

The latest to jump the trump ship is White House deputy chief of staff and de facto communications director Bill Shine, who has stepped down to join the Trump campaign. He is the sixth to have the job in just over 2 years. But scuttlebutt said that Trump had questioned Shine’s judgment on a number of issues in recent months, from the midterm election to the government shutdown.

Shine had been slated to travel with Trump to Vietnam for the second North Korea summit but unexpectedly dropped off the trip two days before. Shine was wandering the halls of the Conservative Political Action Conference. Asked why he was there, he declined to answer. Dropping from communications director to a senior adviser is interesting.

In addition, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson has resigned and plans to return to academia in the weeks ahead. Wilson had long been skeptical of Trump’s plans for a separate branch of the military devoted to space as much of the new organization would be formed from pre-existing Air Force units.

Trump did hire Kayleigh McEnany as national press secretary. She is an American political commentator and writer. She is also a former CNN contributor and a former national Spokesperson for the Republican National Committee.

The US National Security Agency (NSA) has ended the controversial phone call record surveillance program exposed by Edward Snowden. The program was launched under the USA Patriot Act of 2001, originally to permit the collection of call records from telecommunications providers to search for patterns of connections between persons of interest.

Even Trump 2020 campaign press secretary Kayleigh McEnany got into the act by saying “These desperate Democrats know they cannot beat President Trump in 2020, so instead they have embarked on a disgraceful witch hunt with one singular aim: topple the will of the American people and seize the power that they have zero chance at winning legitimately.”

White House press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders said “They continue to be a group totally taken by small radical leftist fringe of their party and they’re completely controlled by it, they know that’s not enough to beat this President so they’re going to look for other ways to do that.”

Trump doesn’t like to lose even when he wins when three weeks after winning the 2016 election [but lost the popular vote] he said “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” It wasn’t considered a landslide.

Trump said he does not hold North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un responsible for American student Otto Warmbier’s death. He did however later said what he was “misinterpreted” but says he now hold North Korea responsible.

If Trump thought his so called Presidential Harassment is bad now, he hasn’t seen anything yet. Investigations into many of Trump’s cronies, former cronies and even family members are starting to take shape.

Trump tweeted “Presidential Harassment by “crazed” Democrats at the highest level in the history of our Country. Likewise, the most vicious and corrupt Mainstream Media that any president has ever had to endure – Yet the most successful first two years for any.” Considering that Trump invented the phrase “Presidential Harassment” how can you compare it against any level? And how do you measure it?

Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, is suing the Trump Organization, saying it failed to fulfill its contractual obligations to indemnify him or pay his attorneys’ fees relating to his work after he began cooperating with federal investigators. In his complaint, Cohen says his legal bills for the criminal investigations he faced totaled $1.9 million.

Trump claims now that Cohen wanted a pardon from Trump in person if convicted even though Cohen said under oath that he didn’t. So that could be a perjury charge. Problem is that it also sets up Trump that he would have to testify what Cohen had said – which could open up things.

The New York State Department of Financial Services has opened an inquiry into the Trump Organization’s insurance practices, sending a subpoena to the company’s long-time insurance broker.

GOP leaders and key committee chairmen are making clear that they believe there is no reason to probe whether Trump broke the law in engaging in a scheme to hide payments made to two women to keep their stories quiet in the days running up to the 2016 elections.

The US gained 20,000 more jobs but way less than the past few months. Trump touted growing wages, low unemployment and the stock market. On the stock market, Trump said, “Certainly since my election it’s up, getting close to 50%.” These statements are [of course] untrue as the stock market took a big tumble late last year and early this year and is slowly recovering.

It hasn’t reached its October 2017 peak and has tumbled since late February again. Dow Jones was at around 20,000 at the inauguration day and stands at around 25,000 at this time. [In comparison, with President Obama he started with about 8,200 and finished at around 20,000.]

Trump getting hit on all sides

Wow! Donald Trump said that if Democrats “want to play tough” when they control the House of Representatives next year, he will declassify documents that will be “devastating” to them. “If they want to play tough, I will do it,” Trump told the New York Post in an interview. “They will see how devastating those pages are.” Democrats are poised to launch a series of investigations after winning a majority in the House in November.

Is this a so-called president of the U.S. or a blackmailer or a man child? And whether he can legally release them without damaging the country. If he can threaten the Democrats with this surely the Republicans know he can do the same to them if he doesn’t get his way.

It should be interesting with all the bashing Trump has had against the Supreme Court that if and when Trump [well his lawyers] go in front of the Supreme Court for one of this many legal issues [either personal or as part of the administration] whether the justices will have in back of their mind think of what Trump has said about them.

Trump publicly chastised General Motors CEO Mary Barra over her decision to close four plants in the U.S. because of sagging demand for sedans. “I was very tough. I spoke with her when I heard they were closing and I said, you know, this country has done a lot for General Motors,” Trump said, referring to the federal bailout of the company after the 2008 financial crash. Trump said he told Barra she had “better” reopen plants in the US soon. Don’t count on it.

“We have a lot of companies moving in,” Trump said at a rally, adding that the number of companies making products in the US is “actually going to be increasing.” Some 8,000 salaried employees and 6,000 hourly workers will either lose their jobs or be reassigned to other plants.

“Very disappointed with General Motors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland,” Trump tweeted. “We are now looking at cutting all @GM subsidies, including for electric cars.” He left out Wisconsin. Not surprising, the subsidies don’t exist. GM is unaware of any significant federal subsidies the company is receiving beyond a $7,500 plug-in tax credit, which goes to the consumer, not the company.

Between 2009 and 2014, the Energy Department provided loans and grants toward the development of electric vehicles and energy saving technology. Tesla, Nissan and Ford participated, but GM did not. Chevy Suburbans are a staple for the Secret Service that protects Trump and other federal officials. GM also manufactured “The Beast,” the souped-up Cadillac that transports Trump.

Despite his last-minute requests and hopes, former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos will still have to start his 14-day prison sentence on Monday for lying to federal investigators in the Russia probe. Papadopoulos’ full sentence includes the prison time, a $9,500 fine, a year of probation and 200 hours of community service.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about work he did on a Trump real estate deal in Russia by making false statements in 2017 to the Senate intelligence committee about a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Cohen said he lied about the timing of the tower negotiations and other details to be consistent with Trump’s “political message.”

One idea considered for the proposed Trump Tower in Moscow was to offer Russian President Vladimir Poutine the penthouse, according to Felix Sater, who was working on the project with Cohen. The penthouse was planned to be valued at $50 million but gifted to Poutine. It was not clear if Trump was informed of the idea.

Cohen pleaded guilty in August to eight separate charges, including campaign finance violations that he said he carried out in co-ordination with Trump. At that time, Cohen said he secretly used shell companies to make payments used to silence former Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult-film actress Stormy Daniels for the purpose of influencing the 2016 election.

Departing for the G20 summit in Argentina, Trump called Cohen “a weak person” and said his former lawyer was just trying to finagle a more lenient sentence from prosecutors. When asked why he retained Cohen for so long, “Because a long time ago he did me a favour,” Trump said, without offering specifics. Trump has previously said that co-operating with prosecutors “should almost be illegal”.

Cohen, who is now a key witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, was under the impression Trump would offer him a pardon in exchange for staying on message in support of Trump in discussions with federal prosecutors. After the April 2018 FBI raid on Cohen’s office and home, people close to Trump assured Cohen that Trump would take care of him.

Donald Trump Jr. has provided testimony under oath to at least three congressional committees where he was asked about the proposed deal. Most of that testimony is not public and it isn’t clear how detailed the questions were about the project. Yet it could place him in legal jeopardy if anything he told Congress conflicts with information provided by Cohen if it is supported by other evidence.

Heading to the G20 in Argentina, Trump announced that he wouldn’t meet Poutine because “ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia”.

Trump woke up and one of the first things he did was tweeted “Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries.” If he said “a few are stone cold criminals” people may take him seriously. But nobody does. In any case, does he think his border guards and immigration officials can’t do their job and weed out the “criminals”? I guess that is another two agencies he doesn’t trust.

Trump tweeted “Would be very SMART if Mexico would stop the Caravans long before they get to our Southern Border, or if originating countries would not let them form (it is a way they get certain people out of their country and dump in U.S. No longer). Dems created this problem.” Actually I don’t think Mexico was hired to be the U.S.’s immigration department. In addition, being in power for almost 2 years he has done nothing yourself to fix the problem. Legislation? Trump Wall? All failures. Will he continue to blame the Democrats for something he could of fixed just before the 2020 elections?

Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection Kevin McAleenan said there is only one type of tear gas used by them in their arsenal. This after Trump claimed “First of all, the tear gas is a very minor form of the tear gas itself. It’s very safe. The ones that were suffering to a certain extent were the people that were putting it out there but it’s very safe.” So border agents suffered more than the migrants. OK.

McAleenan said hundreds — perhaps more than 1,000 — people attempted to rush vehicle lanes at the San Ysidro crossing. Mexican authorities estimated the crowd at 500.

Trump suggested without evidence that some of the migrants who were tear-gassed at the U.S.-Mexico border recently were “grabbers” who took others’ children in order to protect themselves. “They grab a child because they think they’ll have a certain status by having a child. You know, you have certain advantages in terms of our crazy laws that frankly Congress should be changing.” I don’t think a child can enter the U.S. with a non-parent so easily. And again, almost 2 years and he hasn’t changed anything.

Trump said that three U.S. agents were “very badly hurt” by rocks and stones thrown by migrants during the unrest. McAleenan said four agents were struck with rocks but were not injured because they were wearing protective gear.

Trump denied that women and children were among those affected by the tear gas. But in his remarks to reporters here, he shifted his response, first claiming that the tear gas was “very safe,” then blaming migrants with children for being in harm’s way and finally questioning whether the children were theirs at all. Umm. Maybe because the children’s parent[s] were there.

Trump asked why parents were “running up into an area where they know the tear gas is forming.” More like they were already there when agents shot the tear gas.

Trump retweeted a bunch of false facts. Among them, Trump retweeted: “Illegals can get up to $3,874 a month under Federal Assistance program. Our social security checks are on average $1200 a month. RT if you agree: If you weren’t born in the United States, you should receive $0 assistance.” If he dislikes this why doesn’t he fix it. He’s been in office for 22 months. Stop complaining [or retweeting] and fix it then. [The $3,874 is for a family of 5 refugees in Canada – not the US. As for Social Security checks, the average payment is $1,413 a month, with a maximum payment of $2,788.]

The Trump administration announced in June it would open a temporary shelter for up to 360 migrant children in an isolated corner of the Texas desert. It is now up to 2,349 largely Central American boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 17 were sleeping inside the highly guarded facility in rows of bunk beds in canvas tents, some of which once housed first responders to Hurricane Harvey. More than 1,300 teens have arrived since the end of October alone. More people are detained in this tent city than in all but one of the nation’s 204 federal prisons, yet construction here continues.

Costs appear to be soaring more than 50 per cent higher than the government has disclosed: What began as an emergency, 30-day shelter has transformed into a vast tent city that could cost taxpayers more than $430 million. Per child it’s $1200 a day and not $775 per day officials have publicly disclosed. Current average is $12 million a week.
Under federal policy, migrant youth shelters generally must have one mental health clinician for every 12 kids, but shelter officials told AP the facility has just one mental health clinician for every 50 kids.

Recently, 13 federal agencies working in coordination — released the Fourth National Climate Assessment, a detailed document featuring the conclusions of more than 300 scientists that the planet is getting warmer, human activity is contributing to that warming and we are approaching a point of no return in terms of the damage to the climate.

The economy could lose hundreds of billions of dollars — or, in the worst-case scenario, more than 10% of its GDP — by the end of the century. Without significant reductions in greenhouse emissions, the annual average global temperature could increase 9 degrees Fahrenheit (5 Celsius) or more by the end of this century the report says.

Then “We think that this is the most extreme version and it’s not based on facts,” White House press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders said. “It’s based on — it’s not data-driven. We’d like to see something that is more data-driven.”  So they are rejecting the findings of that study don’t comport with Trump’s long-held beliefs that climate change just isn’t a real thing. And yes, 13 more agencies the administration doesn’t believe [add to the list that includes the FBI, CIA, DoHS, ….].

The report’s findings run counter to Trump’s consistent message that climate change is a hoax. Trump tweeted, “Whatever happened to Global Warming?” as some Americans faced the coldest Thanksgiving in over a century. He obviously doesn’t know the difference between climate change and global warming.

“There really is no equivalency,” [versus Hillary Clinton’s mail issue] Ivanka Trump said in an interview regarding her personal mail account adding that her emails were focused on “mainly scheduling and logistics and managing the fact that I have a home life and a work life.” She was emphatic that “everything has been preserved” and stored in the White House system. What was not said is what kind of an account was it. Hotmail? Gmail?

Whether or not they were preserved, it is still a non-government server being administrated by who knows who with still confidential information. Clinton’s mail fault was the deletion of Email but at least she controlled the server where they were stored on. And after this mess with Clinton, you would think Ivanka Trump would know better by only using a government Email address for government purposes?

If she wanted an Email account that is not government controlled for her “home life”, that’s fine, but as long as she doesn’t use it for government purposes. Trump used her personal account to email Cabinet officials, White House aides and assistants.

As world leaders denounced Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Trump waited more than a day before offering a muted response about the clash, leaving the task of criticizing Moscow to the outgoing US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. He refused to condemn Russia after they open fired and seized Ukrainian ships and blocked the sea route. Russia actually accused Ukraine of provocation. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo remained silent on the serious escalation in tensions between the two countries.

Again this shows that “friends” of Trump [but possibly not of the U.S.] can do what they want while Trump stays in the background. First the Saudi Arabia killing of as journalist and now this.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has “breached” his plea agreement with the Justice Department by lying to the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller’s office two months after he started cooperating in the Russia probe.

Manafort shared extensive information with Justice Department prosecutors since he began cooperating, but that prosecutors also believe they are able to verify or refute that information. Manafort lied “on a variety of subject matters,” violating his plea agreement, prosecutors allege in the three-page filing signed by both the defense team and the prosecution.

So Trump has submitted his answers in the Mueller investigation questionnaire. I’m sure a team of people checked Trump’s answers for grade level writing and grammar, spell checking, profanity, orange ooze, …. And finally answers to the questions to make sure they were truthful-ish.

Want a good laugh? In Tupelo, Mississippi, which Trump called the “proud birthplace of the King of Rock n Roll,” Trump said “Other than the blond hair when I was growing up they said I look like Elvis.” When Trump attended New York Military Academy as a young man, it wasn’t even close to Elvis.

Trump just loves to change his tune

Special counsel Robert Mueller seems to have built in safeguards to discourage Donald Trump from pardoning Paul Manafort. The plea deal Mueller struck with Manafort contains several provisions that appear intended to discourage the former Trump aide from seeking a pardon and to rein in the impact of any pardon Trump might grant.

A part of the deal says that if Manafort’s guilty pleas or convictions are wiped out for any reason, prosecutors immediately have the right to charge him with any other crimes he may have committed previously or confessed to during recent plea negotiations.

The agreement also says prosecutors can come after the five identified homes or apartments, three bank accounts and a life insurance policy now or at any point in the future “without regard to the status of his criminal conviction.”

“We had a good saying that we’ve held firm to this day, as the dean was reminding me before the talk, which was ‘What happens at Georgetown Prep, stays at Georgetown Prep,” Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said in a 2015 speech at Catholic University of America’s law school.

Kavanaugh’s nomination vote has been delayed until the following week to allow the Judiciary Committee to question him as well as his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, regarding his alleged sexual assault on her when she was 15.

Once again, unsure if Trump is human. Being insensitive, Trump said of the hardship on Kavanaugh’s family’s life and of course Kavanaugh with Trump saying “hurting someone’s life very badly” and his reputation.

Trump claims that the FBI “doesn’t do that” that is investigate whether what Ford said was true. But in fact, the FBI don’t investigate issues like this unless ordered to do so. There is a difference.

Not surprising Ford’s life has been threatened. FBI investigating. [See Trump, something they actually do.]

When Trump finally addressed the sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh were quietly stunned when Trump said the process should be followed and the accuser should be heard. In recent days, Trump has bragged about the positive coverage he’s received for his response, according to multiple sources. This helped his ego. Not really positive coverage – more like stunned.

You knew it wouldn’t last long. Trump, in a series of tweets, deviated from his previously measured comments about Ford who has accused Kavanugh of sexual assault, claiming that if the attack she alleges “was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities”. He also said Kavanaugh is “under assault by radical left wing politicians.”

Trump asked why no one called the Federal Bureau of Investigation 36 years ago. The FBI would not have jurisdiction in the case at the time of the alleged assault. Among the most common reasons for not reporting these incidents were fear of reprisal, shame and a belief that authorities could or would do nothing to help. [Maybe something Trump will learn once he is charged with those alleged assaults from him.]

Ford said she told no one at the time what had happened to her, and was terrified of punishment from her parents if they realized she had been at a party where underage drinking was happening.

“There’s no reason to attack her. The president is defending his nomination to the United States Supreme Court as a man of character, integrity, impeccable academic and judicial qualifications,” counselor to Trump, Kellyanne The Witch Conway said when asked about Trump’s original measured response to the allegations. How she was wrong…. again. Just a few days before Trump said “Why would I attack her?”

In his May 2017 interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, it makes Trump more vulnerable to claims that he obstructed justice. So Trump’s legal team have come up with a curious explanation: The interview was “edited” and that’s why people are confused about what Trump meant. Of course no evidence of this is provided.

Previously NBC announced an interview with Trump. The next day, Trump fired FBI director James Comey. White House stated that deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein had officially recommended Comey’s firing, and Trump had just accepted the recommendation.

But Trump went off script saying to Holt, “He made a recommendation, but regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey, knowing there was no good time to do it. And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.” The camera stayed on Trump the entire time.

Trump vowed to eradicate a “lingering stench” at the Justice Department, hours after it was reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed wearing a “wire” to record conversations with Trump and recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office according to sources familiar with memos authored by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe documenting the discussions.

“But we had some real bad ones — you see what’s happened at the FBI, they’re all gone, they’re all gone, they’re all gone. But there’s a lingering stench and we’re going to get rid of that, too.” Hmmm. Only 3 know FBI agents have left.

“I never pursued or authorized recording the President and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false,” Rosenstein said.

Trump has to get political even in a disaster. the only question is what took him so long. For example “… But don’t be fooled, at some point in the near future the Democrats will start ranting that FEMA, our Military, and our First Responders, who are all unbelievable, are a disaster and not doing a good job. This will be a total lie, but that’s what they do, and everybody knows it!”

In an interview with The Hill, Trump said about Attorney General Jeff Sessions saying, “I don’t have an attorney general. It’s very sad.” He also said that he is “very disappointed” in him.

Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell claims that Trump recently suggested Spain should build a wall across the Sahara desert to deal with the issue of migration from Africa. Notice the problem? The Sahara desert isn’t in Spain. Most of the migrants come in from the sea.

The Chinese government said that it would impose tariffs on US goods worth $60 billion following the Trump administration’s announcement that it was hitting $200 billion worth of Chinese goods with new tariffs. The White House warned previously that it would respond to any retaliation from Beijing with yet more tariffs.

Then Trump tweeted “China has openly stated that they are actively trying to impact and change our election by attacking our farmers, ranchers and industrial workers because of their loyalty to me.” Hmmm. When did they “openly state” that? If you remove farmers, ranchers and industrial workers, what is left to apply tariffs to after you applied 4 times the amount on China?

“Canada has taken advantage of our country for a long time” said Trump. Let’s see. 325 million in the US [excluding illegals], 37 million in Canada. So the US has 9 times the number of people and yet couldn’t make a deal Trump would like? On the other hand, he doesn’t like anything related to trade unless he can slap on tariffs or knows he got a steal of a deal.

Trump tweeted “Our Steel Industry is the talk of the World. It has been given new life, and is thriving. Billions of Dollars is being spent on new plants all around the country!” Yes, since tariffs were imposed on July 1st, steel plants have suddenly popped up all over the US. I think not. If everything goes well, most steel plants take at least 20 months to build and that’s only after approvals and funding are done.

“Tariffs have put the U.S. in a very strong bargaining position, with Billions of Dollars, and Jobs, flowing into our Country – and yet cost increases have thus far been almost unnoticeable,” Trump tweeted. But this is Trump. So whatever he said usually is a streaming pile of rubbish. Already prices of vehicle and infrastructure have increased.

Yes. The US economy is doing so well, Wells Fargo is adding to the unemployment lines. Wells Fargo plans to cut as many as 26,500 jobs over three years as the troubled bank grapples with the rise of online banking and soaring legal bills. It sold off branches in 3 mid-west states in June.

The Trump administration’s trade wars with China, Canada and others are starting to affect the US. Alibaba is dropping its promise to create 1 million jobs in the US. This came after Walmart asked the Trump administration to walk back its plan to put tariffs on Christmas lights, shampoo, dog food, luggage, mattresses, handbags, backpacks, vacuum cleaners, bicycles, cooking grills, cable cords and air conditioners.

Other retailers and consumer goods companies, including Ace Hardware, Target and Joann fabric and craft stores, also lobbied the administration. The administration imposed tariffs on those goods – although it did spare bicycle helmets, high chairs, car seats and playpens from the final list. It also left off Apple Watches and Air Pods, a reprieve for Apple.

Trump’s refugee plan for the coming year would nearly halve the number of refugees from the Middle East and Africa. By contrast, some regions would see increased caps. The number of refugees from Latin America would double in fiscal year 2019.

Trump tweeted “Today, as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we share our gratitude for all the ways Hispanic-Americans make our country flourish and prosper. Today, and every day, we honor, cherish, and celebrate Hispanic-American Workers, Families, Students, Businesses, and Leaders…” After his comments about Hispanics, I’m sure it wasn’t him who tweeted those words.

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a picture of CNN’s Anderson Cooper about a picture in water in Hurricane “Florence” and made some dumb whiney comments. In fact the picture is 10 years ago. What a genius…

A little reminder that the blog’s primary focus is on Donald Trump and not about US politics in general. Therefore you won’t see the blog detailing more about [for example] the Kavanaugh/Ford legal mess unless Trump gets involved or one of his subordinates if of use. The economy, however, would be included as it is related to the administration’s policies.

Manafort gives Trump a big blow

While until Friday, there was no huge story [or sometimes scandal], it had plenty of interesting items.

Former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will plead guilty to two charges, special counsel Robert Mueller’s office said. Manafort will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy against the US and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice due to attempts to tamper with witnesses Trump tweeted the week of Manafort’s conviction in his Virginia trial last month saying “‘Justice’ took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’ – make up stories in order to get a ‘deal.’ Such respect for a brave man!” Will he deny he said that now? Unknown if Manafort will cooperate with the special counsel’s office in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Not surprising the White House has denied Manafort has anything to do with Trump winning the 2016 election.

Since we know how Trump is, it isn’t surprising that Trump used the platform to launch a fresh round of assaults on the FBI and Justice Department during the 9/11 anniversary.

Rep. Mark Meadows sent to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein a letter alleging a “systemic culture of media leaking” among high-ranking Justice Department and FBI officials. The letter reveals previously undisclosed messages between Strzok and Page, who were involved in both the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and the probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Not surprising Meadows didn’t prove that “high-ranking” officials were involved.

Continuing with the Bob Woodward book “Fear: Trump in the White House”, as Trump threatened to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement, a letter signaling that intent sat on his desk, only to be quietly removed by Gary Cohn, the chief economic adviser in the White House, Woodward said. Trump didn’t even remember writing the letter [i.e. “Where is that letter?” or in the case of this administration “Who stole my letter?”].

Woodward said Chief of Staff John Kelly was similarly distraught when Trump drafted a tweet threatening to remove all US military personnel from South Korea. Trump was convinced not to send out the tweet in part after Secretary of Defense James Mattis told him those personnel are there “in order to prevent World War III,” according to the book.

Donald Trump Jr. acknowledged in an interview that his father can trust fewer people around him [outside of family] than he would like in the wake of an anonymous commentary claiming there is a “resistance” within the Trump administration.

Trump still doesn’t believe the numbers that died in Puerto Rico last year. “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000,” he said in a tweet.

He then tweeted “This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!” he wrote. Yes. Over 2900 people died of old age right after Maria. “Raising” billions? The government gave billions. The governor of Puerto Rico is a Democrat. Get it?

Of course [among other things] he is forgetting [or refusing to believe] that [for example] people died from drowning or maybe were in isolated areas of the island where it took rescuers days if not weeks or months to find or report additional deaths. Maybe in his mind, anything after a cut off date isn’t a death related to Maria.

Even House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, said in response to a question about Trump’s assertion that “Casualties don’t make a person look bad, so I have no reason to dispute these numbers.” Slightly jabbing Trump there.

Trump still refuses to accept any blame for the relief effort following Puerto Rico’s monster storm last year. He insisted the operation had been “incredibly successful,” despite shocking new figures putting the death toll at nearly 3,000. He tweeted “We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida….” Exactly who graded his administration’s work? How about there is still a trickle of people in Puerto Rico.

His visit to Texas to assess conditions after Hurricane Harvey was criticized because of his upbeat rhetoric that at times seemed more in keeping with a political campaign than a relief effort.

Trump warned that upcoming storm, Hurricane Florence, would be “tremendously big and tremendously wet” and that the government was sparing “no expense” and was “totally prepared.” We’ll see.

“I think Puerto Rico was incredibly successful. Puerto Rico was actually our toughest one of all because it’s an island. You can’t truck things onto it. Everything is by boat,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. He got something right. Puerto Rico is an island but how about airplanes?

Democratic Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is running for a House of Representatives seat from New York, tweeted “The 1 year anniversary of Hurricane Maria is next week. Some of my PR family JUST got power a few weeks ago. People are developing respiratory issues partly due to airborne fungal spores from lack of proper cleanup.”

The emergency supplies were brought in by FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which smashed the island and left its residents without power, without roofs and without running water. And yet in Ceiba, there are 20,000 pallets of bottled water sitting there. Brought in after Maria but never used even though people on the island lacked drinking water. But the current administrator of Puerto Rico’s General Services Administration claims that after about 700 pallets had been distributed, complaints began to come in about the water’s foul smell and taste. Were they tested?

“John Kerry had illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime, which can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people,” Trump tweeted. “He told them to wait out the Trump Administration!” This was after former Secretary of State Kerry has been holding some talks with the Iranian regime.

Even current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was briefed by Kerry on his conversations with Iranian officials so he would be aware of Iran’s thinking and [probably to please his boss] Pompeo said “What Secretary Kerry has done is unseemly and unprecedented.” And then added “actively undermining US policy as a former secretary of state is literally unheard of.” Undermining?

Like Secretary of States before Kerry, they still visited other countries to help their country especially when they have good relations. As for Trump, we know he knows nothing about the law. So what was illegal? And I gather Kerry never said anything about waiting until Trump is shown the curb.

As a reminder, after Trump’s election but before he became president and took office, his transition team was accused of reaching out to the governments of both Israel and Russia to undermine Obama administration policies.

As of this week, there are 12,800 immigrant children being cared for by the Health and Human Services Department. That’s the most ever, an HHS spokeswoman confirmed. In 2016, the monthly average of the number of children in care ranged from just over 4,000 to over 9,000. The rate of children being released from HHS has plummeted substantially. At the same time, the average length of time children stay in custody is skyrocketing.

Maybe adding to the NAFTA trade negotiations is potatoes. US potato growers complaining that Canadian growers are dumping cheap potatoes in the US. Canadian growers say it is just the exchange rate. Maybe expect Trump to add some tariffs on potatoes because it is a national security issue. Potato launchers?

For a good laugh, in her book “Mad Politics: Keeping Your Sanity in a World Gone Crazy,” Gina Loudon, who describes herself as a member of the “Donald Trump for President Media Advisory Board,” said “My book actually uses science and real data and true psychological theory to explain why it is quite possible that this president in the most sound-minded person to ever occupy the White House.”

Her book, ranked no. 436,949 in Amazon’s bestsellers rank as of early Friday, refers to her as “America’s favorite psychological expert.” “The writing is turgid, which is amazing for a book written at the 6th grade level,” wrote one reviewer on Amazon.

Her website says she has a PhD. but it doesn’t say in what field. But Loudon obtained her PhD in “human and organizations systems” from Fielding Graduate University, an online school headquartered in Santa Barbara plus a certification in “Body Language Interpretation, and Hypnotherapy.”

Trump tweeted about an article from August 31, when Ford announced that it was canceling plans to make the Focus Active, a compact crossover, in China and ship them to the United States by saying “This is just the beginning. This car can now be BUILT IN THE U.S.A. and Ford will pay no tariffs!”

Wrong. “It would not be profitable to build the Focus Active in the U.S. given an expected annual sales volume of fewer than 50,000 units,” Ford said. So Trump was thinking that Ford would make the car in the US but Ford is actually stopping production of the car to be shipped to the US because Trump’s tariffs would make the cars too expensive. The car is still made in Europe.

Native American tribes in Montana and South Dakota say the Trump administration approved the Keystone XL oil pipeline without fully considering its potential damage to burial grounds and other cultural sites according to a lawsuit.

“I mean, the truth is I think President Donald Trump is the most accomplished President of my lifetime, and I think already one of the most successful presidents in American history.” This coming from Vice President Mike Pence. He’s been drinking that strange Kool-Aid.

A guy now known as “Plaid shirt guy” was escorted out of a Trump Montana rally. He wasn’t enthusiastic even though he was supposed to as he was standing just to the left of Trump behind him.

All he made was funny faces – sort of like saying “serious” or “what”. He was escorted off the stage and was briefly held and questioned by the Secret service.

In two different rallies in the west, Trump was changing his stories. In Indiana, he claimed nine muscular men – eight crying – greeted him and were miners.

But then in South Dakota, Trump claimed nine big muscular men came to him, eight crying, to meet him. But this time they were steel workers – not miners and happened at a United States Steel plant and not at a rally in Indiana. Trump also seems to like “crying” in his fake stories and even used crying in calling politician names.

Trump claimed that multiple Korean War parents of soldiers [read that again a few times] begged him to get their sons’ remains released by North Korea.

Noticed the problem? Those parents would probably be at least 100 years old. So he changed the story and now said it was the children of the soldiers and they were crying.

Commenting about how much he loves [sarcastically] some news outlets, Trump said “The New York Times would not exist” without him. Then he said the New York Times and “CNN and other phone media outlets will be out of business” in 6.5 years when he is out of the White House.

Trump signed an executive order meant to punish foreign entities for interfering in US elections, an attempt to demonstrate muscle on an issue he’s been accused of downplaying. The order will allow new sanctions against Russian or other foreign actors. Experts say it’s redundant because only he can approve sanctions.

“Today’s announcement by the administration recognizes the threat, but does not go far enough to address it….” wrote Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Florida and Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland. The two lawmakers have introduced a bill that would require such mandatory sanctions earlier this year.

Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton denied that harsh reaction to Trump’s Helsinki meeting with Putin was partly what spurred the decision to sign the new order. OK. So why take 3 months to sign it?

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon said and then backtracked that he could beat Trump in an election. He isn’t running. “I can’t beat the liberal side of the Democratic Party.” He added: “I’m as tough as he is, I’m smarter than he is. I would be fine. He could punch me all he wants, it wouldn’t work with me…. And by the way, this wealthy New Yorker actually earned his money,” he said, referring to himself. “It wasn’t a gift from Daddy.”

A group called Make Integrity Great Again tried to block Trump’s Washington hotel from renewing its alcohol license from Washington’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. MIGA seized upon DC regulations to assert Trump is not of “good character” and therefore should not be able to sell alcoholic beverages at the Trump International Hotel. They failed. Hotel has the license still. There was an “an alleged sale-to-minor violation” but not enough to revocation, only a fine or warning.

On his 601st day in office, Trump broke what many people might have assumed was an unbreakable barrier: He said his 5,000th thing that was either totally false or partially untrue. That’s according to the count at The Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog. The number has more than doubled in the past 500 days, averaging just over 4 falsehoods in the first 100 days.

On September 7th alone, he hit 125 falsehoods and in a 10 day period [including the 7th], he averaged 32 per day.

Eight major recent polls [including ABC News/Washington Post, Gallup, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Quinnipiac University] show that Trump’s approval has dropped over 2% from the previous pools from each of them on the average. Now a combined average of 347.8% approval.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s approval rating for handling the Russia investigation stands at 50% in a new Poll conducted by SSRS. That outpaces Trump’s approval rating on the matter by 20 points. In the last 3 months, Mueller has gone up 9%, Trump has gone up 1%.

In the same poll, 47% think Trump should be impeached and removed from office while 48% don’t feel that way.

72% say they think Trump should testify under oath for Mueller if asked. Among the 23% who say Trump shouldn’t testify, about half feel that way because they think the President has no obligation to do so, while a third think that testifying could be a perjury trap.

 

Bad week for Trump

This past Tuesday may go down as the worst day for Donald Trump in his administration.

In a busy day, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to eight criminal counts, admitting that “in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office” he acted to keep information that would have been harmful to the candidate and the campaign from becoming public during the 2016 election cycle. Cohen faces up to 65 years in prison.

Cohen’s under-oath admission — in which he said he violated campaign finance law “in coordination and at the direction” of Trump — holds specific and significant weight for Trump. If the prosecution can show that a candidate knew about the violation and knew about the act and participated, then the candidate can be personally liable.

The charges expose, through the criminal information filed against Cohen in court, that he acted with Trump and his allies, including David Pecker, the CEO of the National Enquirer’s publisher, American Media Inc., to suppress potentially damaging claims against the now-President. Though Trump himself isn’t named, the court filing refers to an Individual-1, who by January 2017 had become president of the United States. Pecker has received immunity.

The National Enquirer kept a safe containing documents about hush-money payments and damaging stories it killed as part of its cozy relationship with Donald Trump leading up to 2016 presidential election. The contents were removed them from the safe in the weeks before Trump’s inauguration. It was unclear whether the documents were destroyed or simply moved to a location known to fewer people.

Not surprising, Trump lashed out at Cohen of making up “stories in order to get a ‘deal”‘ from federal prosecutors. Trump, a legal expert [sarcasm], said, “Michael Cohen plead (sic) guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations that are not a crime.”

Cohen’s lawyer already stated that Cohen isn’t looking for a pardon and I don’t think Trump would giving him one after throwing him under the bus.

Trump also complained that “President Obama had a big campaign finance violation and it was easily settled!” Trump was apparently referring to a fine levied on the former president’s 2008 campaign over missing and delayed disclosure of high-dollar donors in the final days of that race. I don’t think you can compare as one clearly influenced the election.

Trump changes his story again saying “What Michael Cohen pled to weren’t crimes,” Trump told Fox News, suggesting Cohen accepted a plea deal on the campaign finance violations because the other crimes he admitted to were more serious. “He made a great deal. He was in another business totally unrelated to me where I guess there was fraud involved.”

Trump forgets [or maybe not] that Cohen’s testimony against him is not that Trump paid Cohen who paid the two women but did so to use campaign money for something that wasn’t campaign related and possibly alter or hide information that could affect the election outcome.

Trump claimed payments to women shouldn’t be a campaign finance issue because “they didn’t come out of the campaign, they came from me.” Let him prove he used his money and it sounds like he admits to knowing that money was paid. He also claimed that Cohen worked for him for a decade, saying he was just a “part-time attorney” who had many other clients. With the trouble Trump gets into, I doubt many. Or many continuously.

Trump suggested that Cohen’s legal trouble stemmed from his other businesses, including involvement with the New York City taxi cab industry, and that he decided to offer “lies” about Trump to reduce his own legal exposure. I don’t think Cohen’s issues with the taxi industry is anything but small potatoes compared to his political side.

White House press secretary, Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders, said “I’m not getting into the back and forth details. I can tell you as the President has stated on numerous occasions, he did nothing wrong. There are no charges against him in this. Just because Michael Cohen made a plea deal doesn’t mean that implicates the President on anything.” Except Cohen is under oath and doesn’t need additional jail time for lying under oath and we already know Trump knows nothing about the law.

When a reporter asked Sanders if Trump ever lied to Americans [for example where Trump said he knew nothing about the payments but now seems to remember], Sanders replied ” I think that’s a ridiculous accusation. …. There are no charges against him.” So she didn’t really answer and no charges yet. She referred substantive questions to the president’s personal counsel, Rudy Giuliani, who was at a golf course in Scotland – nice coincidence.

“It is clear that, as the prosecutor noted, Mr. Cohen’s actions reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty over a significant period of time,” Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said. Is he serious? If so, Trump was fooled with Cohen doing this as his lawyer for 12 years. What does that tell you about Trump [that we already don’t know]?

Sen. Orrin Hatch, the most senior Republican in the Senate said “President should not be held responsible for the actions of the people he’s trusted.” Ummm. Trump is their boss. He has the ultimate responsibility.

A former federal prosecutor said “No longer can you say Mueller is on a witch hunt when you have his own lawyer pleading guilty to things that were designed to impact the election.” But Trump, not a lawyer, will ignore that and his followers will as well.

And Cohen’s lawyers get even more busy as investigators in New York state issued a subpoena to Michael Cohen as part of their probe into the Trump Foundation. Cohen could potentially be a significant source of information for state investigators looking into whether Trump or his charity broke state law or lied about their tax liability.

If evidence of alleged crimes is found, the matter could be referred to prosecutors, who could pursue criminal charges and seek the release of Trump’s tax returns.

Meanwhile, Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been found guilty on eight counts of financial crimes, a major victory for special counsel Robert Mueller. But jurors were unable to reach a verdict on 10 charges, and Judge T.S. Ellis declared a mistrial on those counts. Manafort was found guilty of five tax fraud charges, one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts and two counts of bank fraud. He faces a maximum of 80 years in prison.

One of the jurors from Paul Manafort’s trial said that although she “did not want Paul Manafort to be guilty,” the evidence was “overwhelming. … We all tried to convince her to look at the paper trail. We laid it out in front of her again and again and she still said that she had a reasonable doubt.” The juror held out on 10 counts but agreed on 8.

He still faces a second set of criminal charges in a Washington, DC, federal court, of failure to register his foreign lobbying and of money laundering conspiracy related to the same Ukrainian political work that was central to the Virginia case.

Not surprising, Trump said that the charges Manafort was convicted of have “nothing to do with Russian collusion” and criticized Mueller’s investigation for arriving at this point.

Some higher up Republicans are already saying Manafort shouldn’t be pardoned as it could add “interfering with an investigation” according to Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, whose entanglements with Trump’s finances are extensive, was granted immunity by federal prosecutors for providing information about Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen. The interview, which focused on Cohen and the payments, happened weeks ago under a deal negotiated by his attorney.

Weisselberg, whose relationship with Trump dates back decades, is also the treasurer of Trump’s charity, helped prepared Trump’s tax returns and is the only non-family member to serve as trustee of the trust that holds the President’s interest in his own companies. “Allen knows where all the financial bodies are buried. Allen knows every deal, he knows every dealership, he knows every sale, anything and everything that’s been done” said one person.

“I don’t know how you can impeach somebody who has done a great job,” Trump said in response in an interview, who asked if he believes Democrats would try to impeach him if they win back control of Congress. Doing a “great” job has nothing to do with doing something illegal or un-American. “If I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash, I think everybody would be very poor.” I don’t think the market crashed from the previous impeachments.

“I give myself an A+. I don’t think any President has ever done what I have done,” Trump said inflating his ego by himself even more. “…Soon to be two unbelievable Supreme Court justices…” He judges his performance by maybe getting 2 supreme court justices appointed? If normal justices are nominated, there shouldn’t be any doubt they get appointed.

Trump sharply decried those who testify against former confidants to ease legal trouble, bemoaning the longstanding practice. “It’s called flipping and it almost ought to be illegal,” Trump said in the interview. So he now wants to rewrite the justice system. “I know all about flipping, 30, 40 years I have been watching flippers.” So he knows a lot of people who ended up in prison. What a good judge of personality.

Trump tweeted “‘Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.’ Jeff, this is GREAT, what everyone wants, so look into all of the corruption on the “other side” including deleted Emails, Comey lies & leaks,…” Or maybe Sessions meant something coming from Trump or his minions.

As we know already, Trump knows nothing about the legal system. Case in point. There is no such federal crime for collusion and yet he keeps on saying it. Trump could be damaged politically should there be findings of conspiracy or obstruction of justice in a report special counsel Robert Mueller is expected to deliver at the conclusion of the investigation.

White House counsel Don McGahn has cooperated extensively with Mueller’s probe, participating in several interviews spanning 30 hours over the last nine months. McGahn has provided “detailed accounts about the episodes at the heart of the inquiry into whether Trump obstructed justice,” including providing information that the Mueller team otherwise would not have learned about.

McGahn’s decision to cooperate was partly due to the fact that the President’s initial legal team had decided to fully cooperate with Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump tweeted “I allowed White House Counsel Don McGahn, and all other requested members of the White House Staff, to fully cooperate with the Special Counsel. In addition we readily gave over one million pages of documents. Most transparent in history. No Collusion, No Obstruction.” I don’t think there is anything to compare between previous probes such as Watergate and this mess.

Yes. There is other news related to Trump.

If the administration can’t get any lower or more controversial, now there is talk of pulling President Barrack Obama’s security clearance. This would be unprecedented. It has been a long standing that any living president had access [if they wanted it] to the latest security briefings [for example]. While they ate not a leader and of limited influence, they were given continued access when they met foreign leaders or even if the current president requires advise. In the case of possibly revoking Obama’s access this is all political.

Regarding the removal of the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan and probably nine others former and current security official from his and President Obama’s administration, Trump tied his dislike of the Russian probe to them. But White House spokeswoman Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders said it was his “erratic conduct and behavior”.

Trump joined supporters in Charleston, West Virginia, for a political rally to celebrate his administration’s proposal to allow states to set their own emissions standards for coal-fueled power plants. The move would reverse Obama administration efforts to combat climate change and marks the fulfillment of a campaign promise at the heart of his appeal.

The EPA formally unveiled the details of its new plan to devolve regulation of coal-fired power plants back to the states, one that is expected to give a boost to the coal industry and increase carbon emissions nationwide. If there is a bright side, the states [assuming they are sane] can keep the current regulations as is or limited modifications. Since 2007, coal production has dropped from around 1150 “short” tons in 2007 to about 750 “short” tons in 2017.

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler argued the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan — the policy being replaced by this week’s proposal — “exceeded the agency’s legal authority” and argued the old regulations led to rising energy prices which have “hurt low and middle income Americans the most.” EPA says the rule could cut electricity prices by 0.2% to 0.5% around 2025. So for a $100 invoice, someone will save 20 cents or a bit more. Meanwhile, what about the pollution? Lung disease, asthma or premature deaths?

Giuliani used the line “truth isn’t truth” when he was trying to make the case that having Trump sit down for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team wouldn’t accomplish much because of the he-said-she-said nature of witnesses’ recollections.

Giuliani cited as an example former FBI Director James Comey, who has said that Trump pushed him at a private meeting to ease up in the federal investigation of former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump has disputed that. But as a lawyer doesn’t he know that it is the court to decide who is saying the truth [with witnesses]? Did he actually go to law school?

Giuliani said that the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between senior Trump campaign officials and Russians “was originally for the purpose of getting information about (Hillary) Clinton,” but denied any collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. If you remember, Trump and others said the meetings originally for adoption matters. This further hammers a nail against Donald Trump Jr. who stated it was for adoptions. Perjury?

Trump tweeted “… But virtually everybody is saying this, & when our Trade Deals are made, & cost cutting done, you haven’t seen anything yet!” Yes. Cost cutting usually means jobs cuts. “Companies are moving back to the U.S.A.” They moved out? Who came back?

Trump tweeted “Our Economy is setting records on virtually every front – Probably the best our country has ever done. Tremendous value created since the Election. The World is respecting us again! Companies are moving back to the U.S.A.” Yup. Records? After shutting down more than 5,000 stores in 2017, there have been more than 4,000 store closures announced so far this year [after 8 months].If the world was respecting the US, North Korea wouldn’t still be developing nuclear bombs, no need for tariffs, etc.

Trump at the G6 + 1 plus other mayhem

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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