Even on vacation, he causes trouble

Well a new year and a new decade brings more of the politics of Donald Trump. Even while “vacationing” in Florida [of course golfing!] he couldn’t help in causing more problems.

Trump retweeted an attack that included an unsubstantiated name of the intelligence community whistleblower at the heart of the Ukraine scandal as part of a series of rants and conspiratorial posts recently. Trump or someone with access to his Twitter account removed the retweet. Publicly naming a whistleblower is illegal. Of course Trump may think he’s above the law.

Nearly every public official involved in the impeachment inquiry agreed that the identity of the original complainant should be protected. Some far-right media outlets and personalities have published stories claiming to know the name of the whistleblower but legitimate new media organizations have refused to name the individual.

An official from the Office of Management and Budget made it clear that the order to keep the freeze in place came directly from Trump, according to unredacted documents reviewed. It is from the documents that were released under court order last month but were either partially or completely blacked out.

Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, continues to stun people on both sides. He wants to testify as a witness and to help defend Trump. Of course you can’t be both. If he is thinking of being on Trump’s defense team, he probably hasn’t been a lawyer in a courtroom in 40 years.

Trump tweeted “So sad to see that New York City and State are falling apart…. Governor Cuomo has lost control, and lost his mind.” Yes. This coming from the President of the United States. Isn’t that bullying? And something his wife is trying to get teenagers not to do in school?

Joe Biden says he will refuse any subpoena from the Senate because he has no knowledge of any personal knowledge of Trump and his infamous phone call. Clearly the Republicans would ask him questions that would have nothing to do with the trial but instead to try and dig up some “dirt” against him [possibly ruining his Democratic nomination] or his son.

Trump had the military assassinate an Iranian military leader, Qasem Soleimani, and are celebrating. Meanwhile, the deputy leader took over. You think this changed anything? Just briefly slowed down any further attacks. Probably a way to get impeachment and trial off the front page [briefly]. Democrat leadership was not notified but I’m sure just about everyone in the Republican party knew.

Note that prior to Trump entering office, Iran had limited access to Iraq. About three years later, militant Iranian leader assisting the Iraqi military? The assassinated militant even had his Iraqi assistant die in the same strike. Initially the US claimed it was a drone attack while Iran says it was a helicopter attack.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo [and Trump later] said the airstrikes disrupted an “imminent attack” in the region that put American lives at risk. There is no way to verify this claim, of course.

White House lawyers — in consultation with national security officials — put together a “strong rationale” claiming that the strike against Soleimani would not lead to war and that Trump, as commander in chief, had the authority to not ask for congressional authorization over a matter of self-defense. Of course the White House lawyers have been wrong before – more than once.

At a right wing evangelist conference for the King Jesus Ministry in Miami, Trump insisted that his administration is a “peaceloving” [sic] one. “Peace loving” nations don’t generally assassinate a top official of another country [in a third country].

Interesting development. The leader was subject to a 5 year travel ban by the United Nations. If he would of complied with the ban, he probably would still be alive today. Could the Trump administration use that as an excuse [he left Iran so he was fair game]?

The US and other governments really need to look at the Iraqi government and exactly what side they are on. First letting in Iranian backed militants to enter the supposedly fortified embassy area and now Iran advising Iraq on military issues?

[While I am not against the assassination, will it actually change anything? He has already been replaced. Will tension in the area escalate? I’m sure. Were allies (Saudi Arabia, Israel, etc.) notified? I doubt it. Those US allies could feel the brunt of possible reprisals.]

From the White House Twitter feed: “At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani…” So an admission – which could be used for legal reasons.

The Selective Service website crashed hours after the announcement that Soleimani was killed by a US airstrike ordered by Trump. The hashtag #WorldWarIII was one of the top trends on Twitter the day after the assassination.

Trump had already condemned Iran for “orchestrating” the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad. He urged the Iraqi government to protect the embassy from further intrusion and attack. He also said Iran “will be held fully responsible” for the attack from Shiite militia forces.

“This will not be a Benghazi. Benghazi should never have happened. This will never, ever be a Benghazi,” he said, without explaining how protesters were able to breach layers of embassy security in Baghdad to begin with. The embassy at Benghazi was stormed during a President Obama term. The State Department has said that while the protesters forced their way into the embassy compound, there had been no “breach” of the facility itself.

Not even hours before his New Year’s Eve party, he sent a series of tweets and retweets going after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and French President Emmanuel Macron. He’s got nothing else to do.

Trump was seen playing golf but abruptly stopped and then said “I did NOT! [play golf]” he insisted, “I had meeting in various locations, while closely monitoring the U.S. Embassy situation in Iraq, which I am still doing.”

Trump cronies are spinning the facts saying how fast the Trump administration got the Shiite militia forces to leave the embassy area but failed to acknowledge how easy it was for them to get so close to the embassy. The embassy area [and not just the US embassy] are supposed to be in a heavy secure area in Baghdad but the militants got through too many checkpoints.

Later Trump was tweeted say that it was a “victory” for the US. Results were better than Benghazi. What exactly did the US do aside from throw some gas grenades? Can’t call it a victory when the militants got to the gates of the embassy. What happened to the security?

North Korean dictator/crazy-man Kim Jong Un is reversing all the potential deals with the US to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. On top of that Un announced on New Year’s Day that his regime will soon unveil a new strategic weapon.

Trump said Un had signed a “contract” and believed Un would abide by the “contract”. That isn’t happening. Trump doesn’t need another “deal” to fall apart especially getting so close to an election. However, like everything else he will say as part of his term that he arranged a deal with Un and not that it fell apart. Will voters remember or care?

Trump tweeted “California and New York must do something about their TREMENDOUS Homeless problems. They are setting records!” Well, when you get increased homeless, the economy is at least partially to blame. But Trump’s indicator is the stock market with more “records” set.

These are also two heavily Democratic voting states with two heavy political foes [Governor Cuomo in New York and House Speaker Pelosi in California]. Coincidence?

Trump signed a bill that increases fines on criminal robocall violations and cracks down on companies making the calls, as part of a federal push against telephone scammers. This had bipartisan support. So much for Trump saying nothing has been done because of the impeachment inquiry.

45 judges left the immigration courts in 2019. Some retired or passed away. Other went onto to other jobs. In comparison 24 left in 2018 and 21 left in 2017. The reasons why individual judges have moved on from their posts on the bench vary, but in interviews with judges who left in recent months, one theme ties them all together: frustration over a mounting number of policy changes that, they argue, chipped away at their authority.

Trump also re-tweeted about “illegal alien” Juan Sanchez, who was supposedly deported six times, was arrested after killing a mother-of-six in Denver, Colorado. That means the border guards and legal system aren’t doing their jobs. You think a wall would of stopped him? No.

Obama lists his favorite 2019 books. Maybe Trump will list his favorite comic books. Actually while Obama’s books included fiction, non-fiction and sports with none related to politics, Trump’s list are all pro-Trump books including from his son. Whether or not he actually read them is a different story.

Obama also list his favorite movies [a few well known] and 3 TV shows. Is there any pro-Trump movies or TV shows? Maybe he’ll invent some.

The Trump New Year’s Eve at the Mar-A-Lago party has nearly doubled its ticket prices for guests of Mar-A-Lago members. In 2016, just weeks after Trump was elected, guests could get in for $575. Now it is at $1000. After last year when Trump decided to stay in Washington during a government shutdown, you would of figured he’d give a discount to those who attended last year.

Trump’s 4 adult children and significant others [and in some cases children] appeared with only Eric Trump going a bit political. Others tried to avoid reporters.

According to the UK betting site paddypower.com:

  • 1/12 chances of completing his term and 7/1 chance he doesn’t
  • 1/50 chance that he won’t be convicted by the senate and 12/1 chance he does
  • 2/1 chance that Area 51 will be opened to the public during his first term in office
  • 200/1 chance Melania to run for President against Trump in 2020
  • 12/1 chance Mexico to directly fund construction of a border-wall with the US [Mexico must state this – not what Trump says]
  • 7/1 chance a US navy ship will be named after him
  • 12/1 chance a US military base will be named after him
  • 50/1 chance to surgically enhance his penis
  • 500/1 chance to surgically enhance his hands
  • 7/1 chance Trump to withdraw the US from the UN
  • 3/1 chance Trump will ban abortions in his first term
  • 6/1 chance Trump will ban gay marriages in his first term
  • 9/1 chance Trump will ban burkas or hijabs in his first term
  • 500/1 chance Trump will ban stairs [!!!] in his first term

The a web site that keeps track of how many times Trump has golfed since becoming president – 230 times – or roughly one out of every 4 days in his term.

Impeachment inquiry ramps up

Andrew Bakaj, a lawyer for the whistleblower who raised alarms about Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine said his client is willing to answer written questions submitted by House Republicans. Attorney Mark Zaid tweeted that the whistleblower would answer questions directly from Republican members “in writing, under oath & penalty of perjury,” part of a bid to stem escalating efforts by Trump and his GOP allies to unmask the person’s identity. Trump said Bakaj should be sued. For what?

“Reveal the Whistleblower and end the Impeachment Hoax!” Trump tweeted. Trump pushed the news media to divulge the whistleblower’s identity, asserting that the person’s accounting of events is incorrect. The whistleblower’s complaint has been corroborated by people with firsthand knowledge of the events who have appeared on Capitol Hill.

A lawyer for the Ukraine whistleblower, whose complaint document triggered the House impeachment inquiry of Trump, has sent a letter to the White House warning Trump to “cease and desist” attacking his client. “I am writing out of deep concern that your client, the President of the United States, is engaging in rhetoric and activity that places my client, the Intelligence Community Whistleblower, and their family in physical danger,” Bakaj wrote to White House counsel Pat Cipollone.

Remember how the Republicans whined that the impeachment inquiry was bad because they were behind closed doors [even though they forget to tell their base that 47 Republicans were present? Now Trump said “They shouldn’t be having public hearings. This is a hoax. This is just like the Russian witch hunt.”

Just moments before his deposition was scheduled to begin, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s lawyer informed impeachment officials that he had been directed by the White House not to comply with the authorized subpoena and asserted “absolute immunity.”

Trump attacked the whistleblower who set off the impeachment inquiry as an, “Obama person,” a “never Trumper,” and “a radical.” To know all this information, Trump must know who the whistleblower is. So why is he asking?

Fox News has told their anchors and others not to reveal the whistleblower’s identity. I guess they are getting tired of Trump.

Trump asked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for help to discredit former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump-Russia scandal. Trump called Johnson to ask for the favor on July 26 – only two days after the prime minister took office, according to the Times of London. This was also one day after his much-scrutinized phone call to Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky, Trump told Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that Barr would contact his Australian counterpart for information on how the Mueller probe was linked to a tip from Australian diplomat Alexander Downer.

US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland amended his previous closed-door testimony with House impeachment investigators to say that he told a top Ukrainian political aide that the release of US security aid was likely conditioned on Ukraine publicly announcing an investigation that would help the Trump politically.

After his recent testimony, Trump claimed he does not know Sondland well. Trump previously called Sondland “a really good man and great American” and “highly respected.” Can he say that to a man he now claims he doesn’t know him?

Former US Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker rejected the conspiracy theories about Ukraine and Joe Biden that have been promoted by Rudy Giuliani, according to excerpts of his testimony to lawmakers. The conspiracy theory alleges that Biden held up $1 billion in aid for Ukraine to pressure their government to fire a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma, an energy company where Biden’s son had a high-paid board seat.

White House senior counselor Kellyanne “the Witch” Conway said that she does not know if Trump withheld US military aid to Ukraine, but stood by the White House’s response that there was no quid pro quo between Trump and the country. So even she is unsure. Conway contended that asking a foreign leader to investigate a political rival is “not impeachable” – except if it was to dig up dirt on Trump’s political rival. She also said Joe Biden is not a top political rival of Trump. Until the Democratic nominee is announce, he is a rival. Makes no difference if he is at the top. He’s roughly in the top three. Obama came out of nowhere to win the nomination and eventually the Presidency [without asking for foreign help!].

Former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Michael McKinley, who testified behind closed doors on October 16, said that he raised [the former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie] Yovanovitch matter with Pompeo three times and proposed releasing a statement of support for the former diplomat, who was abruptly recalled from her post.

Yovanovitch felt threatened by what was coming out of the White House. McKinley did not receive a response from the secretary of state, including when he told Pompeo he was leaving the department.

When asked about it after Yovanovitch testified, Trump said she did a bad job. If she did a bad job, why was she ambassador for so long? Incompetence from Pompeo [we already know Trump is incompetence]. If a person is doing a bad job, the person should be dismissed.

The House committees leading the impeachment inquiry are hoping to hear from Robert Blair, an assistant to Trump and senior adviser to Mulvaney, though that looks unlikely considering Blair’s attorney said he has refused to testify in the probe.

Trump says he’s not concerned about depositions from current and former administration officials in the ongoing impeachment inquiry. Yet he continues to bully them and telling those still working for him not to give testimony. A future obstruction charge?

GOP leadership has officially assigned Rep. Jim Jordan to the House Intelligence Committee ahead of the upcoming televised impeachment hearings, a move designed to bolster Trump’s defense as Democrats take their probe public. Rep. Rick Crawford has agreed to temporarily step aside for Jordan, who is seen as one of Trump’s best attack dogs on Capitol Hill. Transcripts of the interviews released this week show Crawford hasn’t been asking many questions during the closed-door sessions.

Trump and other top 2016 Trump campaign officials repeatedly privately discussed how the campaign could get access to stolen Democratic emails WikiLeaks had in 2016, according to newly released interview notes from Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation. Per a judge’s order, the Justice Department will continue to release new tranches of the Mueller investigative notes monthly.

A retelling of events from former Trump deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates, who served alongside campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is the fullest detail revealed by the Justice Department yet on discussions within the Trump campaign as it pursued damaging information about its Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. The documents were stolen by the Russians, the American intelligence community has found.

The anonymous senior Trump administration official claims in their forthcoming book [“A Warning”] that Trump officials considered resigning together last year in a “midnight self-massacre” in hopes to sound an alarm about Trump. It is written by the same senior Trump administration official who was behind a 2018 New York Times op-ed expressing profound concern about Trump’s competence.

The book describes Trump as dealing with each new political crisis “like a twelve-year-old in an air traffic control tower, pushing the buttons of government indiscriminately, indifferent to the planes skidding across the runway and the flights frantically diverting away from the airport.”

After some tweets by Trump, “It’s like showing up at the nursing home at daybreak to find your elderly uncle running pantsless across the courtyard and cursing loudly about the cafeteria food, as worried attendants tried to catch him. You’re stunned, amused, and embarrassed all at the same time.”

The book also contains an allegation that senior White House officials were certain Pence would support an effort to have Trump removed from office over concerns about his mental state.

The Justice Department is going on the offensive against the anonymous author, telling them in a letter that he or she may be violating “one or more nondisclosure agreements” by writing the anti-Trump book. The author’s publisher is rejecting the argument and saying the book will be released as scheduled and the author’s agents are accusing the government of trying to unmask the author.

A federal appeals court rejected Trump’s effort to block New York prosecutors from accessing his tax records and Trump’s sweeping claims of presidential immunity. The Manhattan District Attorney is investigating hush-money payments made in the lead up to the 2016 presidential election. The ruling does not mean that Trump’s tax records will not be turned over immediately. Local prosecutors agreed to delay enforcement of the subpoena to Trump’s longtime accounting firm if Trump’s lawyers move quickly to ask the Supreme Court to intervene.

Trump continues to says he is under an audit. He supposedly has had no income other than his salary for the last [almost] 3 years. An audit is generally for a year, not 10+ years.

There were three state elections recently.

“Our big Rally on Friday night moved the numbers from a tie to a big WIN.” tweeted Trump. Mississippi is a state that the Republicans always win. Was it his “polling”? See a bit father down this blog.

Meanwhile in Kentucky, where Trump won by 30 points in 2016, the Republican governor just barely lost the state. Trump predicted an easy win the night before.

Trump tweeted prior to the election that “Virginia has the best Unemployment and Economic numbers in the history of the State. If the Democrats get in, those numbers will go rapidly in the other direction. On Tuesday, Vote Republican!” – Except the politicians with low unemployment and great economic numbers are Democrats! And you know he probably inflated the “best” part anyways.

In Virginia, where the Republicans had slim majorities in the state legislature and senate, they lost both. The Democrats control both and the governor’s seat.

The Trump administration announced that it will begin formally withdrawing the US from the Paris climate accord, the first step in a year-long process to leave the landmark agreement to reduce emissions of planet-warming gases. Trump said in 2017 that he intended to pull the US out of the agreement, the latest move is a procedural step that would lead to a complete withdrawal just after the 2020 presidential election.

The withdrawal will take effect one year from delivery of the notification. Is it a coincidence that the final pull-out will be around election time in 2020? When Trump loses the 2020 election, a new president could rejoin the agreement, but would have to put forth new climate commitments to the UN. A recent poll said that about 7 in 10 Americans think global warming is happening, and at least 6 in 10 are “somewhat worried” about it.

“I have the real polls. I have the real polls,” Trump claimed. “The CNN polls are fake. The FOX polls have always been lousy, I tell them they ought to get themselves a new pollster, but the real polls, and you look at the polls that came out this morning, people don’t want anything to do with impeachment. It’s a phony scam.” Trump did not give any more details on what he says are the “real polls.”

Trump tweeted that he may cut off federal government help in funding to help stop the fires raging in California saying [as usual] bad fire management. More like climate change and deforestation.

A judge ordered Trump to pay $2 million to a collection of nonprofit organizations as part of a settlement with the New York state attorney general’s office to resolve a civil lawsuit that alleged “persistent” violations of charities law that included unlawful coordination with the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.

Filed in June 2018, the lawsuit alleged that Trump and his three eldest children — Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric — violated federal and state campaign finance laws and abused the Donald J. Trump Foundation’s tax-exempt status. According to the lawsuit, the Trumps allowed the foundation to be used “as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests.” The foundation is dissolved.

Trump himself had vowed to fight the lawsuit, tweeting last year, “I won’t settle this case!” and politically motivated. The attorney general’s office had sought several outcomes, including $2.8 million in restitution, plus penalties, and a ban on Trump and his children serving on the board of any other New York nonprofit.

Magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll sued Trump for defamation over what she says were his lies denying her public accusation in June that he sexually assaulted her in the 1990s. The lawsuit, which includes a detailed account of the incident in which Trump allegedly raped Carroll in a dressing room at luxury Manhattan department store Bergdorf Goodman, was filed in New York state Supreme Court.

Trump said of Carroll that he “never met this person” Except there is a picture of them from about 7 years earlier.

Trump continues to be happy by tweeting that his approval rating is 50% [or better] according to polling firm Rasmussen. Problem is that a dozen legitimate polling forms say Trump is around 40%. Who’s right? Hmmmm. Oh and 49% in that same poll are against him.

A federal judge in Oregon temporarily blocked a Trump administration proclamation that would have required prospective immigrants to prove they would have US health insurance within 30 days of their arrival or enough money to pay for “reasonably foreseeable medical costs.”

Prospective immigrants had been scrambling to figure out how to get the necessary coverage, navigating a complex healthcare bureaucracy that has, for the most part, not previously catered to those who are not yet in the country.

Trump was met with loud, sustained boos and some cheers as he entered Madison Square Garden for the Ultimate Fighting Championship recently in New York. A handful of signs reading “Remove Trump” and “Impeach Trump” dotted the crowd. The day after, Trump didn’t address any negative reception he received the night before, instead writing that walking into the venue “was a little bit like walking into a Trump Rally. Plenty of MAGA & KAG present. Great energy.” Sure Donnie.

His trip to New York was just a handful of days after he changed his residence to Florida from New York and badmouthed the city and state. He was me with protesters outside as well.

Trump’s campaign web site is selling a “Read the transcript” t-shirt for $30 [plus shipping]. A plain white t-shirt with red text on the front. Wonder if the t-shirt is made in China like his MAGA hats.

If you want a book that will knock you out in minutes if you can’t sleep: Donald Trump Jr wrote a book. No. It’s not in crayons. But it could be a belong in multiple top 10 book categories, political fiction, science fiction, very young children, bathroom books, etc. Soon to be in the $5 bins.

According to one newspaper the “Trump Organization scrubs name from two Central Park ice skating rinks in a bid to rebrand and ‘downplay their connection to the president’s name”. Yes. That will do it.

Trumpworld is shaking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At a rally Dallas rally this week:

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

Finally, what can be called a quieter week for Donald

This was actually a quieter week for Donald Trump after a few weeks of plenty of new and old issues.

The lawyer for the first intelligence whistleblower who came forward with accusations concerning Trump and his interactions with Ukraine said he is representing a second whistleblower regarding Trump’s actions. The second whistleblower works in the intelligence community, has first-hand knowledge that supports claims made by the first whistleblower and has spoken to the intelligence community’s inspector general.

The second whistleblower has not filed their own complaint and doesn’t need to as anyone who speaks to the inspector watchdog is considered to have made a protected disclosure and is a whistleblower under law. No shocker with the White House saying the second whistleblower doesn’t change a thing as both are wrong, “treasonous”, etc.

Trump has pivoted to a new defense, saying his efforts were apolitical and solely motivated by his good-faith desire to root out “corruption”. “Let me tell you, I’m only interested in corruption,” Trump said. “I don’t care about politics. I don’t care about Biden’s politics…. I don’t care about politics. But I do care about corruption….” Ya-di-da.

But Trump has only claimed the corruption defense when it came to former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Biden could be his political and presidential rival in 2020. The state department has also decreased anti-corruption spending – they spent $5 million in 2018 but only requested $3 million for 2019 and again for 2020. Trump has also praised and supported other world leaders such as Vladimir Poutine and Kim Jong Un.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff called the State Department’s blocking testimony of a key witness “strong evidence of obstruction” of Democrats’ impeachment investigation, and the move prompted House Democrats to issue a subpoena in response. The State Department directed US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland not to testify before Congress.

The White House and its Republican congressional allies have argued that a full House vote is necessary, and Trump’s lawyers told House Democrats in the letter that Trump and his administration won’t cooperate in the ongoing impeachment inquiry, arguing the proceedings amount to an illegitimate effort to overturn the 2016 election results. Yes. They still have this imaginary dream that the Democrats think the 2016 election wasn’t valid.

A vote on an impeachment inquiry resolution would give Republicans an opening to argue they should have subpoena power like in past impeachment proceedings, something that Democrats would almost certainly never allow. There is also no law or rule that requires a vote. Are the Republicans looking at which Republicans in the House are against Trump?

Trump has been lashing out at GOP senators he sees as disloyal, telling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell he will amplify attacks on those Republicans who criticize him. Trump is worried that if too many GOP Senators vote against Trump in a possible future impeachment vote, Trump may get impeached.

Trump has already demonstrated his willingness to go after Republican defectors. After Sen. Mitt Romney said it was “wrong and appalling” for Trump to suggest Ukraine and China investigate Joe Biden, Trump called Romney a “pompous ass” and suggesting Romney himself be impeached. Does he know the meaning of the word “impeached” [again for the 100th time]? A senator can be recalled but not impeached.

After Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said “No we didn’t speak about it. I didn’t know about it” and the subject of military aid to Ukraine “was not the subject of the phone call,” Trump said there should not be any impeachment. Except what trump failed to mention is that after the phone call Zelensky was told of the military aid issue.

Trump defended a decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, saying it was too costly to keep supporting US-allied, Kurdish-led forces in the region fighting Islamic State militants. “The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades,” Trump said in a series of tweets.

Senator Lindsey Graham, who is generally a vocal Trump supporter, wrote in a series of Twitter posts that he was trying to set up a call with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and would introduce a Senate resolution opposing the withdrawal decision and calling for it to be reversed. Turkey could invade northern Syria now that the US will leave the area. McConnell joined the wave of Republicans and Democrats criticizing Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from northern Syria, allowing Turkey to take control of the military operations there.

Trump appeared to backpedal after giving Turkey a green light to attack US-allied Kurdish forces in northern Syria, warning Ankara in a tweet that “As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!).”

After Turkey struck the Kurds in Syria and Trump claimed the Kurds ” /didn’t help us in the second World War, they didn’t help us with Normandy for example”, quite a few Republicans, including Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third-ranking Republican in the House, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, and others weren’t happy with the attack. Some have called on sanctions against high ranking members of the Turkish government.

Turkish Dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would release 3.6+ million Syrian refugees into Europe if he is criticized by the European Union. Taking a page from Trump’s playbook.

Trump signed an executive order giving the Treasury Department “very significant new sanctions authorities” against Turkey, but the US doesn’t have any immediate plans to use them, Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said. “We are not activating the sanctions. These are very powerful sanctions. We hope we don’t have to use them, but we could shut down the Turkish economy if we need to.”

Did he state this before? Probably not. Retired Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters said that “you can’t believe a word Trump says,” in between laughing on air after reading Trump’s tweet.

Trump’s ousted ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, strode into a deposition on Capitol Hill. Three days earlier, the White House had issued a letter declaring the administration would refuse to comply with Democrats’ requests as they speed ahead in their impeachment efforts, saying the proceedings were “illegitimate.” Democrats said the White House tried to prevent Yovanovitch’s testimony and were forced to issue a subpoena.

The White House said that “we are not concerned with any information Yovanovitch might share, because the President did nothing wrong.” If so, why did they try to block her from testify?

Two associates of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, connected to efforts to dig up dirt in Ukraine on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden have been arrested and indicted on criminal charges for allegedly funneling foreign money into US elections. Another one was arrested on lesser charges and a forth was indicted but not arrested.

Attorney General William Barr held a mysterious meeting with News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch. Critics of the White House have been raising questions about why the attorney general was meeting with a media mogul at a time when Trump has been openly critical of the network.

Meanwhile, Shepard Smith, one of the few voices at Fox News who has been willing to be critical of Trump, is stepping down from the network after 23 years. “Recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News and begin a new chapter. After requesting that I stay, they graciously obliged,” Smith said in a statement. Hmmmm.

Trump lost his appeal to stop a House subpoena of his tax documents from his longtime accountant Mazars USA. In a 2-1 ruling, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a lower court ruling saying the firm must turn over eight years of accounting records.

Then right after, judges in New York, Texas, Washington state and California sided against Trump administration initiatives meant to limit immigrants from entering the country — both through a physical barrier and by raising the requirements on migrants seeking legal status.

In a rare bright spot, Trump announced a “phase one” trade agreement with China that he hopes will signal the beginning of the end of a withering trade war. News of the emerging deal sent stocks soaring, even as Trump acknowledged it still requires “papering.”

Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security since April and the fourth person to serve in that post since the Trump presidency began, submitted his resignation to the White House. Seems like McAleenan wanted to go back to the private sector. His replacement [acting acting secretary of homeland security?] will be announced soon.

Former Trump Organization Trump Organization vice president, Barbara Res, says she thinks Trump may resign rather than face possible removal from office by impeachment. “He does a lot of things to save face…. my gut [instinct] is that he’ll leave office, he’ll resign. Or make some kind of a deal, even, depending on what comes out.” She claims that while working for Trump, he would make [light] racist jokes.

A hacker group with ties to the Iranian government attacked 241 Microsoft email accounts “associated with a US presidential campaign, current and former US government officials, journalists covering global politics and prominent Iranians living outside Iran,” the company said in a blog post. 2,700 email accounts were attacked but primarily to go after the 241 accounts in which most of the campaign accounts were tied to Donald Trump. The campaign has said they have no indication that they were compromised. No presidential candidate was attacked.

In a Fox News poll, more than half of US voters want Trump impeached and removed from office. Shocker! 51% of registered voters want Trump impeached and removed from office and another 4% want Trump impeached but not removed from office. Forty percent of respondents were opposed to impeachment altogether.

Trump then attacked Fox News tweeting “whoever their Pollster is, they suck” adding that the network is “much different than it used to be in the good old days.”

With a rally being held shortly in Minneapolis, the city’s mayor billed the Trump re-election campaign for $500,000 for extra security but later withdrew after legal action. Meanwhile Trump tweeted that the website selling “Cops for Trump” t-shirts had crashed because they were so popular. It never crashed.

When Trump announced that his signature wall at the US’s southern border would be “virtually impenetrable” while visiting San Diego last month, Rick Weber, who co-founded the Muir Valley rock climbing park in Rogers, Kentucky, was listening. Several people have already managed to climb up the wall replica including an 8-year-old [who didn’t use any ropes or other tools to climb the wall, but wore a belay, a safety device designed to catch a falling climber].

Trump has said that 20 mountain climbers claimed the border wall design is difficult to climb, but Weber and other climbers have said that seems unlikely. “We were all very puzzled because none of us in the climbing community had heard of these 20 people that had supposedly tried this wall,” Weber says.

So much “fun” going on for Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boy was this one big week…

This will probably be one of the biggest week of the Trump “presidency”. With the exception of an actual impeachment or a resignation or the chance that he manages to survive through the full term and lose in the 2020 election [think he can win}] there won’t much bigger weeks.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced a formal impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump. This after Trump repeatedly pushed for the Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky to reopen an investigation of his potential 2020 rival, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, and asked the Ukrainian leader to work with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr on the issue, according to a transcript of the July call.

“So if you can look into it” is supposedly the big sentence that pushed for impeachment.

More than half the House are now saying that they would favor impeachment. While it has [at this point] not chance of passing in the senate, it will be just the 4th time a sitting President has had an impeachment inquiry.

Trump abused his official powers “to solicit interference” from Ukraine in the upcoming 2020 election, and the White House took steps to cover it up, according to a stunning whistleblower complaint. Several White House officials tried to “lock down” all records of the phone call, especially the word-for-word transcript produced by the White House.

The whistleblower alleged the US officials believed Giuliani was a conduit for messages between Trump and officials in Kyiv and that he was at the helm of a problematic “circumvention of national security decision making processes.” Supposedly two State Department officials intervened with Giuliani in an effort to “contain the damage” he was doing to national security. Giuliani said he wouldn’t testify if Trump said no.

The whistleblower also alleged that the White House tried to cover up the evidence of Trump’s behavior. The report said that officials were told to take the transcript of Trump’s conversation with Zelensky from the computer system in which it was stored to another classified system used for the most sensitive national security information. The move potentially corrupted a repository supposed to be used only for the nation’s most sensitive secrets with material being protected for a purely political purpose.

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson wrote that the alleged conduct by Trump “would also potentially expose” the President “to serious national security and counterintelligence risks with respect to foreign intelligence services aware of such alleged conduct.” If a hostile government possesses a recording or is aware of the details of Trump’s phone call, they could use it to blackmail Trump.

In his conversation with Zelensky, Trump claimed “that Biden stopped the prosecution” of Biden’s son and then “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it.” Biden did, however, bragged that he had successfully pressured the Ukrainian government to fire a prosecutor who was widely criticized for failing to bring corruption prosecutions. The prosecutor was already close to losing his job anyways.

Trump claimed in a tweet that the whistleblower “…only had second hand information”. But Trump said that later when the story exploded that whomever provided the whistleblower with information about his call with the Ukrainian president is “close to a spy”. Aren’t spies usually foreign? Of course he is also saying that the Democrats are “making up stories” and what “doing to this country is a disgrace.” If they are making up stories, there is no spy.

The Justice Department has said there are some indications that the whistleblower opposes Trump’s reelection, but the complaint was indeed credible. They used lawful channels to file the complaint and get the message to Congress. Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire told lawmakers today that he believes both the whistleblower who filed the complaint against Trump and the inspector general who handled it “acted in good faith.”

In the hours after the release of the rough transcript of Trump’s July phone call with Zelensky, the White House circulated an email with proposed talking points for Trump’s defenders. Unfortunately for the White House, the email was mistakenly sent to not only Republicans but also Democratic lawmakers and their staff.

The message, titled, “What you need to know: President Trump’s call with President Zelensky,” was quickly recalled – but not before Democrats took to Twitter to ridicule the White House over the error. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had already pushing back saying the transcripts probably wouldn’t be released because of some natural security issues.

Kurt Volker, US special envoy to Ukraine, has resigned one day after the release of a whistleblower report alleging a coverup by the White House of a call between Trump and Zelensky. Volker was named in the report.

[Some of the news items below came before the impeachment announcement. Decided to leave it in.]

Trump landed himself in more hot water. This time, it came out that Trump had a conversation with the Ukrainian president in July about digging up dirt about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden or his son, Hunter Biden, who is an executive at an Ukrainian energy company. Now if the digging is about Joe Biden, that could be an impeachable offense. If against Hunter Biden, it could still be impeachable [going after a family member].

Pompeo also revived debunked questions about Biden’s conduct. “America cannot have our elections interfered with, and if that’s what took place there, if there was that kind of activity engaged in by Vice President Biden, we need to know.” And what was Trump doing? Trump has also long rejected evidence that Russia intervened in 2016 to help him.

Trump tweeted “The real story involves Hunter Biden going around the world and collecting large payments from foreign governments and foreign oligarchs” from information from Fox News anchors. No proof given.

Supposedly 8 times in their conversation in July, Trump asked the Ukrainian president to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter. He also threatened to remove a $400 million US military aid package. Trump’s team is now using the power of the presidency to incite collusion ahead of the 2020 election. Congress passed the bill in August and the White House lifted a hold on the money in September.

There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Biden or Hunter Biden. The then-Ukrainian prosecutor general Yury Lutsenko said in May that Burisma Holdings, a major energy company, did not violate Ukrainian law by having Hunter Biden on its board and paying him. Trump’s claims that Biden pushed for the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor because he investigated a business for which his son served as a board member have previously been found to be false.

The administration’s efforts to stop Maguire from releasing the whistleblower report to Congress, and its opposition to releasing a transcript, are only fueling speculation the White House has something to hide. If there was wrongdoing such conduct could equal obstruction of justice, historically an impeachable offense.

Trump tweeted that he has “… authorized the release tomorrow of the complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call. No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo!” I’d like to see independent verification that there is nothing left out.

Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, threatened to resign over concerns he would be told to evade lawmakers’ questions during his testimony scheduled with House and Senate Intelligence committees. Maguire has come under fire for refusing to give the lawmakers the whistleblower complaint, which details Trump’s July phone call with Zelensky.

The Intelligence Community Inspector General in late August referred a criminal complaint to the Justice Department to investigate whether Trump’s pushing for Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, a potential 2020 rival, was a violation of campaign finance law but the Justice Department’s criminal division recently determined to not open a formal investigation of the president for possible campaign finance violations.

Republican senators who have strongly supported Trump were largely silent but Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah tweeted Sunday “it would be troubling in the extreme” if Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden. Media supporters [a.k.a. Fox News mostly] have called the whistleblower a “punk”, part of the “deep state” and a “spy” among other names.

Trump admitted that he delayed aid to Ukraine ahead of a call to Zelensky, when he pushed the leader to look into potential rival Joe Biden and his son’s work, giving the excuse that he was waiting for European nations to contribute their fair share of aid. “I said hold it up. Let’s get other people to pay. And then everybody called me, ‘Oh please, can we pay?’ And there was never any quid pro quo”. Seriously?

Trump had directed his acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to freeze nearly $400 million of US military and security aid to Ukraine in the days before he spoke with Zelensky.

“Even the Ukrainian government put out a statement that that was a perfect call, there was no pressure put on them whatsoever.” I’m suspecting that that the Ukrainian government doesn’t know too much about US laws.

Trump argued at a press conference that Democratic senators were the actual guilty parties. Trump spoke of a letter that three Democratic senators wrote in 2018 to Ukraine’s prosecutor general, claiming, “In the letter they implied that their support for US assistance to Ukraine was at stake and that if they didn’t do the right thing they wouldn’t get any assistance. Gee, doesn’t that sound familiar?”

He accused Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of having “literally threatened” Zelensky during a recent trip to Ukraine, alleging that Murphy said “that if he doesn’t do things right they won’t have Democratic support in Congress.”
There was a letter but the 2018 letter from Sens. Patrick Leahy, Dick Durbin and Bob Menendez did not include any threat at all, about US assistance to Ukraine or anything else; it did not even mention US assistance.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted that the whistleblower’s attorney has informed the committee that he would like to testify.

White House efforts to limit access to Trump’s conversations with foreign leaders extended to phone calls with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian leader Vladimir Putin, according to people familiar with the matter. Those calls — both with leaders who maintain controversial relationships with Trump — were among the presidential conversations that aides took remarkable steps to keep from becoming public.

In a retweet from another right-wing journalist with little credibility, Trump quoted in a tweet “It appears that an American spy in one of our intelligence agencies may have been spying on our own president. The complaint suggests that this intel agent was listening in on Trump’s conversation with a foreign leader. Was this person officially asked to listen to the conversation or was he or she secretly listening in?” Again. No facts, just speculation.

Giuliani first denied that there were walks and shortly after said there was. Of all the people who are in Trump’s corner, how Giuliani is still around is unknown.

Trump retweeted a tweet from Donald Trump Jr who re-tweeted a nobody’s tweet that the Democrats’ letter had asked Ukraine to “investigate Trump.” Might as well take anyone’s tweet as you know how accurate the tweets are on Twitter.

“What these guys are doing, Democrats are doing to this country is a disgrace, and it shouldn’t be allowed. There should be a way of stopping it,” Trump said on the airport tarmac. Yes. Just throw out democracy.

Texas Republican Rep. Mike Conaway argued that the President was entirely within his rights to ask a foreign counterpart to investigate corruption — borrowing the White House’ s explanation for the call between Zelensky and the US leader. Seriously?

Impeachment starts with 6 separate House inquiries. The results of the six are then sent to a judicial committee in the House who decide which if all or any are strong enough to impeach. A vote is taken by all House members where at least one member more than 50% [i.e. at least 218 of 435] are needed to continue.

If passed, it will then go to the Senate where the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will be the presiding judge, a group of House members will be the “prosecutors” and the 100 members of the Senate will be the jury. At least 67 of them must agree to the impeachment. At this time, that is unlikely as the Republicans control the Senate and very few have indicated they would vote to impeach.

Trump mocked Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg on Twitter after the 16-year-old excoriated world leaders for not doing enough to tackle the climate crisis by tweeting “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”

[Yes she came across a bit on the angry/rough/frustrated side, but unlike her Trump is supposed to have experience in diplomacy. He actually never has shown it. She has Asperger’s Syndrome which explains a bit.]

The Pentagon announced it will deploy additional US troops and missile defense equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as Trump has at least for now put off any immediate military strike on Iran in response to the attack on the Saudi oil industry. The US deployment would probably be in the hundreds and the defensive equipment heading to the Middle East would probably include Patriot missile batteries and possibly enhanced radars.

A New York judge ordered Trump to provide video testimony as part of an upcoming lawsuit brought by protesters who say they were assaulted by Trump’s security guards during a 2015 protest outside of Trump Tower. The trial centers around a protest in September 2015 in front of Trump Tower in New York City where two protesters wore parody Ku Klux Klan outfits to protest Trump’s rhetoric on illegal immigration.

“I’m leading in the polls. They have no idea how they stop me. The only way they can try is through impeachment. This has never happened to a president before,” Trump has said. One word: Nixon.

Trump chastised a “permanent political class” that is “overly disdainful” during remarks at the United Nations, claiming they – along with the media, economic institutions and technology companies – were pushing ” flat-out assaults on our histories, traditions and values.” Who is this “permanent political class”? He doesn’t mention it.

“And a free people must never, ever be enlisted in the cause of silencing, cancelling or blacklisting their own neighbors.” Something Trump never does.

“I have made clear that we stand ready to complete an exceptional, new trade agreement with the UK, that will bring tremendous benefits to both of our countries,” Trump said after a meeting with embattled UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who may not have a job for long. What makes Trump think he can hammer a trade deal in a short time when some trade deals take years to complete?

Trump continued to praise Johnson by saying “He’s doing a fantastic job. Not easy, but doing a really good job.” This after Johnson lost a UK Supreme Court ruling?

Twitter has removed 10,000 accounts across six countries/regions after discovering coordinated activity among nation states designed to spread misinformation.

So they remove Trump’s account?