Did Trump Sr throw Jr under the bashed in bus?

Donald Trump Jr. downplayed the meeting between top campaign aides to his father and a Russian lawyer, saying the highly scrutinized engagement “ended up being about essentially nothing that was relevant” to questions of collusion. Trump Jr. said the session lasted 20 minutes, and maintained the central focus was on adoptions — even as he conceded the Hillary Clinton dirt was how the Russian lawyers secured the meeting in the first place.

He decried media scrutiny surrounding the episode, saying it was an attempt to deter attention from his father’s accomplishments. [Which are?]

So Trump Jr. tries to downplay the meeting even though his father said it was about  dirt on Clinton. Donald Trump Sr. tweeted that his son met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer to collect information about Clinton. But 13 months ago, Trump gave a far different explanation for the meeting, saying it was about the adoption of Russian children.

It may not be collusion [seems to be a favorite Trump term] but if Trump Jr. said in a statement to federal investigators that he was there for the adoptions and now his father said it was about dirt, it could cause legal issues such as perjury.

Trump has been urged to stop tweeting about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump’s top advisers and several Russians. His tweets are only making things worse for him.

Trump defended calling the media “The Enemy of the People,” and said journalists “purposely cause great division & distrust” and can “cause War!” No. Politicians cause wars if they don’t know the history of a conflict [and don’t have a huge ego]. As for division and mistrust, it depends on what kind of angle a journalist will cover. Politicians who use some journalist as their intelligence source instead of intelligence professionals will cause problems.

As the Trump administration readies to re-impose sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the 2015 nuclear accord, America’s European allies fear greater regional instability. The sanctions cover Iranian trade in automobiles and metals, including gold. It revoked licenses that allowed Iran to purchase US and European aircraft. Iran acquired five new European commercial planes before the sales were cut off.

UN inspectors said Iran was complying with the deal, but Trump argued that it didn’t do enough to curb Iran’s malign activity in the region. European countries say they remain committed to the agreement, seeing it as the surest way to safeguard their national security.

Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, is under federal investigation for tax fraud and possibly misrepresenting his finances. Authorities are investigating whether Cohen underreported his income in federal tax returns, in which he reaped hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last five years. Cohen is already facing in relation to his business affairs and work with Trump.

The Government Accountability Office concluded that the Department of Homeland Security has not conducted a full analysis of the costs of building the Trump Wall. Department officials have also not properly documented their plans for building a portion of wall in the San Diego area. Because of this the Trump administration is at risk of wasting some of the billions of dollars it wants to spend on the US-Mexico border wall.

White House adviser Stephen Miller is pushing to expedite a policy that could penalize legal immigrants whose families receive public benefits and make it more difficult to get citizenship. Concerns over potential lawsuits have delayed the final rule, and the draft has undergone numerous revisions.

The law has long allowed authorities to reject immigrants if they are likely to become a “public charge” — or dependent on government. But the draft rule in its recent forms would include programs as expansive as health care subsidies under the Affordable Care Act as well as other programs.

More than 700,000 foreigners who were supposed to leave the United States during a recent 12-month period overstayed their visas, the Homeland Security Department said and this excludes those who came by land. An estimated 40 per cent of the roughly 11 million people in the country illegally stayed past their visas.

And of course what has the Trump administration done about it? That’s right. Nothing. These 700,000+ are in the country illegally and are mostly not running away from hardship and death like those coming to the US illegally.

US District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington halted a deportation in progress and threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt if the mother and daughter weren’t returned to the US. If they fail to comply, the judge said, Sessions, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other senior Homeland Security officials would have to convince him not to hold them in contempt of court.

Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former White House aide and reality TV star, claims in her forthcoming book that Trump’s re-election campaign offered her a lucrative contract in exchange for her signature on a strict non-disclosure agreement after her ouster from the administration last year, according to an excerpt quoted from the book.

Lara Trump, a campaign adviser and Trump’s daughter-in-law, extended the offer to Omarosa [as she uses] shortly after White House chief of staff John Kelly fired her for “serious integrity issues,” according to excerpts. Omarosa also made [further] claims that Trump is a racist by making some comments. If she didn’t care for him, why did she stay?

The day after Trump’s appearance, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a prominent GOP critic of Trump, said he asked Republican Troy Balderson [running in a special election] if Balderson invited Trump at all into the district in the Columbus suburbs. “He said, ‘No, I didn’t,'” Kasich said of Balderson. On stage with Trump, Balderson called himself “someone who will fight for President Trump’s economic agenda.” Is Balderson flip-flopping or just keeping an option open to blame Trump if he loses.

Trump tweeted “When I decided to go to Ohio for Troy Balderson, he was down in early voting 64 to 36. That was not good. After my speech on Saturday night, there was a big turn for the better. Now Troy wins a great victory during a very tough time of the year for voting.” Ya. Right Donnie. It was neck and neck for weeks and the GOP won the seat for 30 years and 11% in 2016. [And what was 64 to 36? After 100 votes counted?]

At this time, Balderson was leading by under 1% [or about 1800 votes] with 99% of polls reporting. Republicans declared victory for the Balderson, but Democrat Danny O’Connor has not yet conceded. More than 3,400 provisional ballots have still to be counted. A margin of 0.5 percent or less triggers a mandatory recount in Ohio.

In any case, it doesn’t look good even if Balderson won. Plus they go at it again in 3 months.

In the Republican primary for Kansas governor, Trump endorsed Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state known for his crusade for restrictive voting laws, over incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer. In doing so, he ignored the pleas of the Republican Governors Association to stay out of the race. Kobach — who publicly backed Trump’s false claim that millions of people voted illegally in 2016 and who advocates a hard-line approach to immigration — could alienate Republican voters in areas like the Kansas City and Wichita suburbs.

The Trump administration announced that it will go ahead with imposing 25 per cent tariffs on an additional $16 billion in Chinese imports. Customs officials will begin collecting the border tax Aug. 23, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said. The list is heavy on industrial products such as steam turbines and iron girders.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has stabbed Canada in the back again. First, it was the G7 Summit. Then they imposed tariffs on Canada. Now, it seems with a diplomatic fight between Canada and Saudi Arabia over the latter’s human rights abuse, supposedly Saudi Arabia asked for the Trump administration opinion on applying sanctions against Canada and the Trump administration didn’t object.

Trump doubled steel and aluminum tariffs against Turkey to 20 and 50 per cent, deepening the rift between them and sending the country’s currency into a tailspin. Trump slapped sanctions on two Turkish officials earlier this month over a detained American pastor who is being tried on espionage and terror-related charges.

Trump’s in-laws are officially US citizens, obtaining their citizenship through the sponsorship of their adult daughter, Melania, one of the very categories of family visas that the administration has sought to end. Viktor and Amalija Knavs, who are from Slovenia, had been living in the US with green cards. Melania Trump sponsored her parents for their green cards, a status that allowed them to live and work in the US indefinitely and paved the way for citizenship.

In the sports section, again, NFL players are kneeling during the national anthem which prompt Trump to tweet “Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their ‘outrage’ at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love.” So does he know why they are upset? And of course he had to imply they are rich and yet having an easy life. Most of them won’t have lengthy careers because of injuries.

He added “A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway.” This from the man who wanted to buy the Buffalo Bills. If he thinks owners get little out of it….

NBA superstar LeBron James claims to CNN’s Don Lemon that Trump is using sports to divide the US. This prompt Trump to tweet “Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do.” [Note that he couldn’t even spell James’ first name correctly.] James said he wouldn’t sit down across from the President if he were given the opportunity.

Trump also added “I like Mike!” in reference to Michael Jordan. “I support LeBron James. He’s doing an amazing job for his community,” Jordan said through a spokeswoman.

Trump has always aimed at various celebrities and others that have commented negatively about him [politician Maxine Waters, Robert De Niro, etc.]. But aiming it at an African-American follows the white supremacists ideology that African-Americans have low intelligence. This resulted in a chorus of tweets against Trump.

Even Melania Trump went against her husband by saying in a statement “It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has…” James recently opened a school in Los Angeles and offered to pay for school fees.

“Who’s the real dummy? A man who puts kids in classrooms or one who puts kids in cages? #BeBest,” Lemon tweeted the morning after.

The now-disbanded commission that Trump set up to investigate election integrity did not find evidence of widespread voter fraud, a former member of the panel Maine’s Democratic secretary of state, Matthew Dunlap, citing internal documents he obtained related to commission activities. Trump disbanded the commission which you can conclude with this that there wasn’t any major fraud.

Trump tweeted that the wildfires hitting California are “being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized.” Trump said the water is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Trump also called for clearing trees to stop the fires from spreading.

Of course even if the water was diverted, it isn’t stopping the land from being so dry because there has been little rain as well as little snow in the winter. As for clearing trees, does he want a state with no trees?

A resolution to request the removal of Trump’s star’s was unanimously adopted by the West Hollywood City Council but is not legally binding as the city has no jurisdiction over the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The mayor said “Earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is an honor. When one belittles and attacks minorities, immigrants, Muslims, people with disabilities or women — the honor no longer exists.” We’ll see how trump reacts on Twitter especially if it is removed.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which does have jurisdiction over the iconic tourist attraction, said Trump’s star was safe for the time being. No stars have ever been removed.

The Trump administration wants to reduce national monuments and protected areas so it can help big business in areas that have valuable land for development and resources. But in documents that were mistakenly released, tourism has increased in those areas adding more jobs. In some areas where there are near water, jobs could be lost as development could kill off fish and other seafood in the areas.

Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen says he believes that special counsel Mueller will probably indict Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner and then Trump will pardon both. [Although you never know. Ivanka may say not to pardon her husband!]

Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s attempt to acquire Tribune Media has been put on hold after the Federal Communications Commission said it had “serious concerns” about the transaction. The FCC had recently loosened TV station ownership rules that helped Sinclair close its deal with Tribune Media. That prompted the FCC internal watchdog to launch an investigation into whether the commission had improperly pushed for the rule change to benefit Sinclair. The change is also being challenged by public interest groups in court.

Meanwhile, Trump lashed out at the FCC  for not approving the deal. Sinclair is the largest owner of local television stations across the United States and is trying to get even bigger through the $3.9 billion Tribune deal. It’s also well known as a conservative-leaning media organization that forces its stations to run opinion segments supportive of the president and conservative causes.

The current version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes provisions that place restrictions on the president’s authority to direct generals to launch cyberattacks. NDAA in its current form also requires the president to develop and abide by a cyberwarfare strategy document that describes which activities merit cyber retaliation. It also could limit retaliatory attacks by the military without a certain level of confidence in attribution.

Trump says it would be “a dream” to run against former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. Trump said that former President Barack Obama took Biden “out of the garbage heap.” CNN polling from January 2018 found Trump lagging behind Biden in a hypothetical 2020 match-up by a 57% to 40% split. Biden would turn 76 just after the next election. If he won he would be the oldest president ever.

Ex-Fox New Analyst, Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, says that Trump echoes Stalin in the way he governs. [Maybe that’s why he is not at Fox News.]

A group called Qanon is showing up at Trump rallies. They are a group that send out really ridiculous conspiracy theories such as 9/11 was a hoax, Sandyhook shooting as to push for gun control, Tom Hanks & Steven Spielberg [note: 2 well known Democratic supporters] are pedophiles, etc. While “Simpleton” Sanders said Trump condemns and denounces the group he still allows them in [maybe because they are Trump supporters].

So far, five sitting GOP member of the House have lost statewide primary in 2018 many of whom began their races as the favorite only to be passed by a candidate running as an outsider to the Washington system.

A lawsuit filed by the National Rifle Association in May says the gun advocacy organization will have to close its headquarters, shut down its online media presence and stop holding rallies and conventions if it is stymied by New York state from doing business with banks and insurers.

The lawsuit, when it was originally filed in the US District Court for Northern New York, came days after the Department of Financial Services fined several insurance companies hundreds of thousands of dollars for participating in an NRA-backed liability insurance program for gun owners. They are a big supporter of Trump, of course.

[A reminder that this blog is primarily about the “life” of Trump. It is about anything related to him. For example, much of the Paul Manafort isn’t mentioned as it isn’t about Trump at this time. And as a further reminder, I don’t include the title “President” in front of his name unless it was included in a quote or a tweet.]

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Trump, Mr. Exaggeration

We really have to figure out what’s going in the mind of Donald Trump.

Of the nine traits to be considered a narcissist, he has some or all of them.

But there is more evidence this week – as well as to trust anything he says.
We have already known that he has exaggerated or has lied many times. He has done so many times in his tweets or even in the few speeches he gives.

But here are just three examples within the past few days:

In a tweet, he said “No chaos” [he used capital letters and exclamation marks]. I am not a psychiatrist but a lot of time when you say something like “No chaos”, you know there is. Why else bring it up? Sure enough, he fires Communication Director Anthony Scaramucci after just 10 days on the job within 24 hours of that tweet.

Remember the Boy Scouts of America jamboree and his speech? He got a bit of a lashing from many including the Boy Scouts administration for being too political in an apolitical organization.

So, what does he do? He claims that a “leader” of the Boy Scouts [would that be the president of Boy Scouts of America?] called him and told him it was “the greatest speech that was ever made to them.” That sounds like a typical exaggerated wording that Trump would use.

And while at it, would the president of Boy Scouts of America would be able to call Trump that easily? [Let alone the White House records and logs all phone conversations.]

Then we have his claim that the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, call him very recently and Trump announced that “Their southern border, they said very few people are coming because they know they’re not going to get to our border, which is the ultimate compliment.” Except the President of Mexico, according to the Mexican government, hasn’t spoken to Trump since the G20. This also came out of the blue as with the exception of budgeting $1.6 billion to build a small piece of the wall, there has been little talk about the wall in a while.

Why does he invent this false information? Maybe to say that his policies are working when they usually aren’t.

But doesn’t he know anything that needs to be checked can easily be verified either directly or on the Internet. He didn’t think no one would ask the Boy Scouts or the Mexican government?

If I was a foreign leader, a businessman or even a Girl Guide selling cookies, I would be recording the conversation. Because you know he will say something that is exaggerated or totally wrong.

 

207 more weeks of this guy?

Donald Trump opened another large can of worms when he banned people from 7 [Muslim] countries for at least 90 days. It happened so fast in an executive order that many travelers from those country were off guarded and were either detained at airports or told to go back to where they came from. New York mayor said the executive order was so disorganized.

In addition, accepting refugees have been also halted. Not surprised, many countries – aside from those 7 – were upset because of the executive order. Iran responded by banning Americans to Iran for at least 90 days. Others wonder why Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, North Korea and other major terrorist [growing] countries were not included.

Trump claims that Muslim refugees could get into the US easier than Christians but [again] offered no logical reasons or proof.

Catching some off guard [in terms of time, not the expectancy], Trump announced that the US will go ahead and build a wall between the US and Mexico – with Mexico paying. The Mexican president went on TV to say that Mexico will not pay for any wall and was not happy with the announcement that the wall will be built. The Mexican president is considering canceling his trip to see Trump very soon. [The Mexican president’s poling numbers are actually lower than Trump.]

Trump claims that he and the Mexican president decided to postpone their meeting even though the Mexican president said that he canceled the meeting after Trump tweeted basically that if Mexico doesn’t pay for the wall then don’t come.

Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Poutine had a chat with his padawan [Starr Wars lingo for apprentice] Donald Trump. [Of course the name “Apprentice” is also the name of Trump’s show he hosted and is somehow still listed as producer.]

The entire senior level of management officials of the State Department resigned recently, part of an ongoing mass exodus of senior foreign service officers who don’t want to stick around for the Trump era. Those resigned have worked with both parties. All had submitted their resignations prior to Trump’s January 20 inauguration as is required of officials holding jobs appointed by the president but some were not appointed. They were not required to leave the foreign service but chose to retire or resign for personal reasons, the department said.

Trump is ready to allow torture [such as waterboarding] against foreign detainees and to keep Guantanamo Bay, Cuba open after Obama tried [unsuccessfully] to shut down the prison as well as to reopen CIA detention facilities outside the United States. The draft directive also orders a review of interrogation methods used on terror suspects and calls for suggested modifications that would not violate the U.S. legal ban on torture. Defense Secretary James Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo would be consulted but they didn’t know of the draft executive order. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the administration looked at it during the elections but won’t be used. So why is it mentioned now?

Senior members of the Trump administration have been accused of blatant hypocrisy after it was revealed they are continuing to use personal email accounts. Key advisors to the president, Kellyanne Conway and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as press secretary Sean Spicer and chief strategist Steve Bannon, all have accounts on the Republican Party’s rnchq.org domain, and are continuing to use them in addition to their official government accounts, according to Newsweek.

According to hacker WauchulaGhost [who claimed to have hacked 500 pro-ISIS accounts], the Twitter accounts for Trump, Melania Trump and Mike Pence are more vulnerable to hackers because of a basic Twitter security setting they’re not using. With a little bit of work “he” figured out that the Twitter account for Pence is a associated with a less secure Gmail account and both Trumps also use Gmail accounts.

While Trump says he wants to create American jobs, why is his personal phone a Samsung phone – clearly not made in the USA.

Not too smart. Sean Spicer may have tweeted his password for something. 

Trump is still using his less secure Android smart phone to send out his tweets and make calls even though he was supposed to give it up 5 days ago.

“Social media postings sometimes provide an important window into a person’s mental health,” the Department of Defence tweeted. “Know what to look for.” Didn’t take long for comments such as: “@DeptofDefense have you look at the posts by your Commander in Chief? @potus needs immediate help” and “Medal of Freedom for whoever at @DeptofDefense was responsible for this, please.”

Trump tweeted that he is ordering a “major investigation” into voter fraud, revisiting unsubstantiated claims he’s made repeatedly about a rigged voting system. Trump has been fixated on his loss of the popular vote in the election and a persistent frustration that the legitimacy of his presidency is being challenged by Democrats and the media. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have finalized their election results with no reports of the kind of widespread fraud that Trump is alleging.

Trump “does believe that, I think he’s stated that before, and stated his concern of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign and continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence people have brought to him,” Spicer said. And then he said only that Trump “has believed that for a while based on studies and information he has.” No evidence has been made public – if it exists. Probably not.

[Unsure why Trump would bring up this nonsense. He won the election. Again this makes him look a bit unbalanced. Does he always want controversies in his term?]

A number of studies have found no evidence of widespread voter fraud. The Truth About Voter Fraud, a report written by experts at The Brennan Center for Justice, found voter fraud rates were between 0.00004% and 0.0009%.

Trump’s own daughter, Tiffany is registered in both Pennsylvania and New York. Did she vote in both? Trump’s Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon is registered in Florida and New York. Did he vote in both?

Spicer said that Trump believes in widespread voter fraud, in part, as a 2014 study by Jesse Richman and David Earnest found more than 14% of non-citizens in 2008 and 2010 “indicated that they were registered to vote.” But the sample was so small that it had a huge error range.

“I am to a large extent an environmentalist” Trump said. What? From a guy who doesn’t believe in climate change.

From Trump’s own Twitter account, he says 2 pictures from his inauguration will be hung in the press room at the White House. But if you look closely, the date is January 21st, 2017 – not 20th. [Click on the image in this link showing the crowd.]

In other news, amateur hour. The Trump administration had to recall a press release after they spelled UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s first name wrong. No “H” in the first release.

Trump already signed at least 14 executive orders. Way more than the last half dozen presidents combined.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway says that recent threats have forced her to receive an extra layer of security, and she apparently blames the news media. She has Secret Service protection. “We have packages delivered to my house with white substances.” But remember that she’s on the propaganda team. Did she actually get threats and received “white substances”.

A Trump administration freeze on new Environmental Protection Agency contracts and grant awards raised fears that states and other recipients could lose essential funding for drinking water protection, hazardous waste oversight and a host of other programs — while a communications blackout left them dangling in uncertainty. Emails to staff banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency’s social media accounts contributed to the information vacuum. Some have created “rogue” Twitter accounts to get around the decree.

Buried at the end of a confirmation hearing last week of Jeff Sessions, who if confirmed will take the helm at the Justice Dept. under the new administration, is a note saying as attorney general is in favor of putting backdoors in encryption.

An online reporter from LifeZette [a pro-Trump site] was able to ask a question at a White House press conferences and briefings where normally only major news outlets are traditionally allowed. I guess we’ll see Breitbart soon…

Trump warned business leaders that he would impose a “substantial border tax” on companies that move their manufacturing out of the United States, while promising tax advantages to companies that produce products domestically. So companies can either jump ship [say to Canada as it is close to the US] or build in the US and watch either their profits to shrink [which won’t help their stock] to keep the prices steady or increase prices because the labor in the US is higher than most countries.

A lawsuit alleged that President Donald Trump is violating the Constitution by allowing his business to accept payments from foreign governments. Trump is violating the so-called emoluments clause in the Constitution that prohibits him from receiving money from diplomats for stays at his hotels or foreign governments for leases of office space in his buildings, according to the suit filed by a legal watchdog group.

Trump said that he would hand over control of his company to his two adult sons. He announced several other measures in an attempt to mollify critics who contend that his financial interest as head of a global real estate company could conflict with his pursuit of the public good. Problem is that there has been no indication he has done anything about it.

Humor time – not fake news:

British PM Theresa May almost did not make the trip to Washington recently after rumors when out that Donald Trump was about to issue an executive order for the US to build a wall between the US and the UK and the UK would have to pay.