Posts Tagged ‘Trump’

Trump Gets More Money from His Saudi Masters

February 1, 2023

LIV Golf: Trump Welcomes His Saudi Masters to New Jersey

Celebrity golf cheat, grand jury target, and former US President Donald Trump, fresh from his triumphant Senior Golf Tournament cheat last week, has scored three LIV Golf tournaments at his East Coast golf courses for the 2023 season. They will be televised on the CW Network. The Saudi-funded LIV Golf Tour “sportswashing” campaign’s 2022 tour stained the Trump National Golf Clubs in Bedminster, New Jersey and Doral, Florida, and was only seen on YouTube.

Another big difference this year: Donald Trump will be taking foreign money while he is an officially-declared candidate in the 2024 presidential election. When he appears at the LIV tourneys, will the FEC deem them campaign events? We’ll see.

Mr. Trump embraced the insurgent Saudi-backed tour in revenge after the U.S.-based PGA pulled its 2022 championship tourney from his Bedminster course, but he has history backing upstart sports leagues, and it’s not the first time Donald Trump has taken Saudi money. Saudi cash saved Trump from bankrupcy, and, despite anti-Saudi rhetoric during his 2016 campaign, he and son-in-law Jared Kushner have kept their shoddy businesses afloat on an Arabian Gulf of Saudi money.

By April 2022, Jared Kushner’s equity firm primarily depended on Saudi money. Previously, as Trump’s Secretary of Everything, Mr. Kushner had defended Saudi ruler Mohammed bin Salman. In 2021, after Steven Mnuchin stepped down as Treasury Secretary, the Saudi fund invested $1 billion in his business. It’s unclear how much Mr. Trump will earn from the Saudi-backed golf tour in 2023 but, knowing him, he’ll probably start bragging about it.

Last year there were strong objections to Trump’s embrace of Saudi golf money by the PGA, by survivors of the victims of 9/11, and National Press Club members who remember the “grisly-bonesaw” murder of their collegue Jamal Khashoggi.

More:

“Trump courses hosting three tournaments for Saudi-underwritten LIV Golf,” Stephen Neukam, The Hill

“Trump courses to host 3 events for Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour,” Herb Scribner, Axios

Related:

“Hosting Saudi Golf Tourney, Trump Has Forgotten He Used to Blame Kingdom for 9/11,” Nikki McCann Ramirez, Rolling Stone

“Trump: LIV Golf tournament a ‘great thing’ for Saudi Arabia,” Jared Gans, The Hill

“The marriage of LIV Golf and Donald Trump is the stuff schemes are made of,” Eamon Lynch, Golfweek

“Donald Trump’s Sketchy Playbook for Blowing Up a Pro Sports League,” Ian Ward, Politico

“Remembering The Tour De Trump, Donald Trump’s Failed Bike Race,” Patrick Redford, Deadspin

“Does Saudi Arabia Own Donald Trump?” NotionsCapital

“Ivana Trump was buried near the first hole of Trump National Golf Club. Her gravesite could offer tax breaks for the business.” Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert and Isabella Zavarise, Business Insider

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Image (“Trump Welcomes His Saudi Masters to New Jersey”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Collectors of Classified Documents

January 25, 2023

Collectors of Classified Documents

When leaving the White House, everybody takes home some souvenir secret documents. It seems like that, anyway. Trump had 300. Ex-VP Biden had a few. Now it turns out that ex-Veep Mike Pence had some back home in Indiana, too. It’s a questionable hobby.

The federal government began the modern system of document classification in 1951, updating it in 1953 and 2009. Maybe the FBI also needs to search the homes of Harry Truman, Alben Barkley, Ike, Nixon, JFK, LBJ, Hubert Humphrey, Spiro Agnew, Gerald Ford, Nelson Rockefeller, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Dan Quayle, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, George W. Bush,  Dick Cheney, and Barack Obama.

Kamala Harris, take heed.

More:

“Trump Angrily Orders Pence to Return All Classified Documents to Mar-a-Lago,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

Updates:

See? We told you.

“Classified records pose conundrum stretching back to Carter,” Zeke Miller, Farnoush Amiri, Colleen Long, and Jill Colvin, Associated Press

“US National Archives asks ex-presidents to check for classified papers,” Hugo Lowell, The Guardian

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2024 Presidential Campaign Shapes Up

December 1, 2022

2024 Presidential Campaign Shapes Up

Last week, at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump, former president, had dinner with Ye, former Kanye West, and Ye’s companion, Holocaust-denying white supremacist Nick Fuentes. Ye announced he would run for president in 2024, and asked Mr. Trump to be his running mate. As this meal occured a week after Mr. Trump had announced his own candidacy, hilarity ensued.

Perhaps the former Kanye West felt the former president would be open to his deal after Mr. Trump cost the GOP the Senate in the midterms and nearly lost them the House. On the other hand, Ye, as Kanye, was briefly a 2020 presidential candidate, and that evaporated faster than his Adidas deal.

More:

“A ‘nightmare’: Trump team does damage control after he dines with Ye and white supremacist Nick Fuentes,” Marc Caputo, NBC News

“Report: Trump Doesn’t Want to Condemn His Holocaust-Denying Dinner Date Because It Might Alienate His Jew-Hating Supporters,” Bess Levin, Vanity Fair

“Trump Says He Did Not Know Identity of Dinner Guest, Owing to White Hood,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

Related:

“Trump Brought Nazis Into the GOP. DeSantis Won’t Expel Them.” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

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Trump Shell Game

October 18, 2022

Trump Shell Game

A new new company with a familiar name was incorporated in Delaware on September 15th: Trump Organization II LLC. It registered to do business in New York State on September 21st, the same day that state’s attorney general filed a 220-page fraud lawsuit against Donald Trump, his family, and the original Trump Organization, the umbrella company for the former president’s real-estate and golf resorts. NY AG James has filed court papers to prevent Trump from sheltering assests by shifting them from Trump Org I to Trump Org II in a corporate shell game.

More:

“Trump Forms New Company, Drawing Scrutiny From N.Y. Attorney General,” Ben Protess, Jonah E. Bromwich and William K. Rashbaum, New York Times

“Trump Organization II Mocked as Court Filings Reveal New Delaware Company,” Zoe Strozewski, Newsweek

“Trump Organization assets should be frozen, New York attorney general asks court,” Max Jaeger, Politico

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Image (“Trump Shell Game”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Trump Fraud Lawsuit: Red Meat?

September 23, 2022

Trump Fraud Lawsuit: Red Meat?

After a three-year civil investigation into the Trump Organization’s business practices, New York State Attorney General Letitia James has sued Donald Trump, his adult children Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka, and Trump Organization employees for falsely inflating the value of assets for many years to receive tax breaks and favorable loan and insurance rates. The suit aims to recover $250 million. Said AG James: “Claiming you have money that you do not have does not amount to the art of the deal. It’s the art of the steal.”

Attorney General James seeks to bar Trump and his organization from buying commercial real estate or receiving bank loans for five years, and to permanently bar Trump, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump from serving as executives in any New York companies. Naturally, Trump’s attorney called the filing politically motivated.

This is a civil suit, but the charges, if true, would point to federal and local criminal charges, and AG James has referred these matters to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Manhattan District Attorney.

More:

“Donald Trump, 3 of his children accused of business fraud by New York AG,” Shayna Jacobs and Jonathan O’Connell, Washington Post

“New York attorney general lawsuit accuses Trump of ‘staggering’ fraud,” Hugo Lowell, Maya Yang and Martin Pengelly The Guardian

“‘Art of the steal’: Trump accused of vast fraud in NY suit
By Michael R. Sisak and Larry Neumeister, Associated Press

“New York attorney general sues Trump, accuses him of “astounding” fraud and deception,” Andrew Prokop, Vox

Updates:

“It’s Just Fraud All the Way Down,” David A. Graham. The Atlantic

“As Trump’s Legal Woes Mount, So Do Financial Pressures on Him,” Maggie Haberman, Ben Protess, Matthew Goldstein and Eric Lipton, New York Times

“Are Mar-a-Lago and other Trump-owned properties over-valued?” Sam Cabral, BBC News

“How Screwed Are Donald Trump and His Adult Children, and Other Questions You Might Have About the ‘Staggering’ Fraud Lawsuit Against Them,” Bess Levin, Vanity Fair

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Trump Embraces QAnon Conspiracy Theories

September 21, 2022

Trump Embraces QAnon Conspiracy Theories

Donald Trump is, finally, openly embracing the wacko QAnon conspiracy theory. Tuesday, on his Truth Social platform, he reposted an image of himself wearing a Q lapel pin overlaid with the words “The Storm is Coming.” For QAnon looons, the “storm” refers to a Trump final victory, when he will regain power and his opponents will be tried (and probably executed) on live television.

At a JD Vance campaign rally on Saturday, Donald Trump spoke over QAnon-themed background music while his supporters raised their right index fingers to the sky in a creepy salute. Sure, it might mean “We’re Number 1” or “America First,” or signal the “One Way” of Christian Nationalism, but The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer, author of a forthcoming book on QAnon, tweeted that it could symbolize the QAnon rallying cry ‘Where we go one, we go all.’”

That rally music?  It was either the QAnon anthem “Wwg1wga” or a copyright-free clone of it. Trump had used it in a video on his Truth Social last month.

More:

“Trump openly embraces, amplifies QAnon conspiracy theories,” David Klepper and Ali Swenson, Associated Press

“Trump asks QAnon to stand back and stand by,” Phillip Bump, Washington Post

“Trump’s Gone Full QAnon. There’s No Point in Denying It Anymore.” Jared Holt, Daily Beast

“What’s with the creepy one-fingered salute by Trump supporters?” Imogen Champagne, Crikey.com.au

“Is Trump fans’ ‘weird’ one-finger salute at rally a QAnon tribute?” Gustaf Kilander, The Independent via Yahoo News

“Trump’s Latest Rally Was Even Weirder Than Usual,” Chas Danner, New York Magazine

“Trump’s New Recruits: He’s embracing the QAnon conspiracy theorists,” Tom Nichols, The Atlantic

Update:

“Trump Endorsed QAnon Because He’s Stuck,” Juliette Kayyem, The Atlantic

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Trump’s Ex-Employee Hershel Walker Stumbles Downfield

August 25, 2022

Trump's Ex-Employee Hershel Walker Stumbles Downfield

Georgia’ GOP candidate for the US Senate is Hershel Walker, a former University of Georgia Heisman winner, All-American, and  NFL veteran. He was endorsed by Donald Trump, who was his pre-NFL employer as the owner of the failed New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League. In just a few short years, as Mr. Walker raced down the field, Mr. Trump managed to tank the entire USFL.

Hershel Walker and Donald Trump have something else in common: they are both phenomenal liars. Mr. Trump told over 30,000 lies while he was in the White House, and continues to lie about losing the 2020 election. Mr. Walker lied about graduating from college, then lied about lying that he graduated from college. He lied about being a policeman and an FBI agent. He lied about his business ventures, including his “mini-Tyson’s chicken empire“. And while Dr. Oz can’t remember all the houses he owns, Walker can’t recall all the children he’s sired.

Despite his sports celebrity and Trump endorsement, the drip of revelations has raised been understandable questions about Herschel Walker’s electability. All that lying doesn’t help when you’re running against an incumbent who’s a Baptist minister. Weird statements blaming China for US air pollution, evolution denial, claims the US has 52 states, and accusations of spousal abuse should raise even more concern that the ex-Georgia Bulldog is a dog of a candidate.

Herschel Walker was a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice TV show in 2009. Donald Trump fired him. He might want to fire him as a Trump-branded political endorsee, too.

More:

“Herschel Walker declines invitation to debate Senator Warnock in Macon,” Justin Baxley, WMAZ-TV

“Herschel Walker’s ex-wife recalls him threatening to ‘blow my brains out’ in campaign ad released by opponents in Georgia Senate race,” Dave Goldiner, NY Daily News

Related:

“Republicans rue price of fame as celebrity Senate candidates struggle,” Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian

“Donald Trump’s Less-Than-Artful Failure in Pro Football,” Joe Nocera, New York Times

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Image (“Commander-In-Chief of the Jersey Generals”) by Mike Licht. Download copies here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com.

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FBI Seeks Trump’s Stolen Documents at Mar-a-Lago

August 10, 2022

FBI Seeks Trump's Stolen Documents at Mar-a-Lago

Early this past Monday, FBI agents toured Donald Trump’s beautiful Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, executing a search warrant for classified documents he stole while vacating the White House after his failed 2021 coup attempt. At the time of the FBI raid, Mr. Trump was in New Jersey, recuperating after playing golf on his ex-wife’s grave with Saudi officials. FBI Director Christopher A. Wray is a Trump appointee, and the judge who approved the search warrant, Bruce Reinhart, was appointed in 2018, during the Trump administration. Before that, the judge was an attorney, and represented several employees of Donald Trump’s friend Jeffrey Epstein.

The former president fled Washington with 15 cartons of purloined pages, and some are still missing. Withholding or destroying the documents is a violation of the Presidential Records Act and provisions of the Federal Records Act, felonies punishable by up to three years in prison. Conviction might make him ineligible to hold public office in the future.

The FBI agents brought a safecracker to Mar-a-Lago to help search for the remaining stolen documents, which reportedly include a “love letter” from Kim Jong Un. Maybe the feds brought a forensic plumber, given Donald Trump’s habit of flushing documents down the toilet.

More:

“Trump says FBI searched estate in major escalation of probe,” Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo, Associated Press

“FBI searches Trump’s Florida home as part of presidential records probe,” Brian Ellsworth and Sarah N. Lynch, Reuters

“Here’s what we know about the FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago,” Brett Samuels, Rebecca Beitsch, and Emily Brooks, The Hill

“The consequences Trump could face for mishandling White House records,” Melissa Quinn, CBS News

Presidential Records (44 U.S.C. Chapter 22)

“Lara Trump incorrectly claims that Donald Trump had ‘every authority’ to take documents from White House,”
Stephen Proctor, Yahoo Entertainment

“Fox News Is Having a Nuclear Meltdown Over the Feds Raiding Mar-a-Lago,” Ryan Bort, Rolling Stone

“Republicans dust off familiar playbook to weaponise Mar-a-Lago FBI search,” David Smith, The Guardian

“Pelosi responds to GOP criticism of search at Trump’s estate: ‘No person is above the law,’” Anna Kaplan, NBC Today

“Feds Seizing Documents at Mar-a-Lago Unable to Find Trump’s Health-Care Plan,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

Updates:

“Mar-a-Lago search appears focused on whether Trump, aides withheld items,” Devlin Barrett, Josh Dawsey, Rosalind S. Helderman, Jacqueline Alemany and Spencer S. Hsu, Washington Post

“‘Defund the FBI!’ Trump allies are not happy with Mar-a-Lago raid.” Peter Weber, The Week

“The FBI’s Search of Mar-a-Lago Is a Reminder That Trump Has Always Been a National Security Threat,” David Rothkopf, Daily Beast

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LIV Golf: Trump Welcomes His Saudi Masters to New Jersey

July 29, 2022

LIV Golf: Trump Welcomes His Saudi Masters to New Jersey
While Joe Biden was criticized for his recent fist bump with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Donald Trump has given a big, wet, sloppy kiss to the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Toursportswashing” campaign. The third tournament of the new pro golf league‘s tour is being held at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Mr. Trump may have embraced the insurgent tour because he’s peeved at the U.S.-based PGA for pulling its 2022 championship tourney from Bedminster, but he has backed upstart sports leagues before, and this is not the first time Donald Trump has taken Saudi money. Far from it. Saudi cash saved Trump from bankrupcy, and, despite anti-Saudi rhetoric during his 2016 campaign, he and son-in-law Jared Kushner have kept their shoddy businesses afloat on an Arabian Gulf of Saudi money.

There have been strong objections to Trump’s embrace of Saudi golf money by the PGA, of course, but also by survivors of the victims of 9/11, and National Press Club members who remember the “grisly-bonesaw” murder of their collegue Jamal Khashoggi.

More:

“Trump Seeks Money and Revenge in Hosting the New Saudi Golf League,” John Cassidy, The New Yorker

“Hosting Saudi Golf Tourney, Trump Has Forgotten He Used to Blame Kingdom for 9/11,” Nikki McCann Ramirez, Rolling Stone

Updates:

“9/11 families rip Saudi-financed golf tour ahead of finale at Trump resort,” Olafimihan Oshin, The Hill

“Trump: LIV Golf tournament a ‘great thing’ for Saudi Arabia,” Jared Gans, The Hill

“LIV Golf’s latest stop brings together Trump, Saudi Arabia and plenty of criticism,” Bryan Armen Graham, The Guardian

“The marriage of LIV Golf and Donald Trump is the stuff schemes are made of,” Eamon Lynch, Golfweek

“Bill Maher mocks Trump over golf course comments, suggests US trade him for Griner’s release,” Chloe Folmar, The Hill

“LIV Golf Tournament at Trump Club Sees Thin Crowds, $1 Tickets: Reports,” Jason Lemon, Newsweek

“LIV Golf spectator yells, ‘Do it for the Saudi royal family’ at Phil Mickelson,” Riley Hamel, Golfweek

“Golf takes back seat at Saudi-backed, Trump-hosted event,” Bryan Armen Graham, USA Today

Updated Updates:

“LIV Golf sellouts bailed on the PGA Tour. Now they want back in?” Sally Jenkins, Wasghington Post

“Judge rules LIV golfers can’t play in PGA Tour postseason,” TuAnh Dam, Axios

Related:

“Donald Trump’s Sketchy Playbook for Blowing Up a Pro Sports League,” Ian Ward, Politico

“Remembering The Tour De Trump, Donald Trump’s Failed Bike Race,” Patrick Redford, Deadspin

“Does Saudi Arabia Own Donald Trump?” NotionsCapital

“Tiger Woods turned down offer in ‘neighborhood’ of $700M to $800M to play in Saudi-backed tournament, Greg Norman says,” Sarakshi Rai, The Hill

“Ivana Trump was buried near the first hole of Trump National Golf Club. Her gravesite could offer tax breaks for the business.” Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert and Isabella Zavarise, Business Insider

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Image (“Trump Welcomes His Saudi Masters to New Jersey”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Federal Grand Jury Looks at Trump Document Tampering

May 13, 2022

Federal Grand Jury Looks at Trump Document Tampering

In January 2021, when he left the White House, Donald J. Trump sent 15 boxes of presidential documents to Mar-a-Lago instead of the National Archives, as required by law. Many of the docs were marked “Classified” and “Top Secret.” The Archives asked the Department of Justice to investigate the violation. On Thursday, the New York Times reported that a federal grand jury was convened to look into the matter:

“Federal prosecutors have begun a grand jury investigation into whether classified White House documents that ended up at former President Donald J. Trump’s Florida home were mishandled, according to two people briefed on the matter. The intensifying inquiry suggests that the Justice Department is examining the role of Mr. Trump and other officials in his White House in their handling of sensitive materials during the final stages of his administration.”

— “Prosecutors Pursue Inquiry Into Trump’s Handling of Classified Material,” Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmidt, New York Times

Another grand jury in Atlanta is investigating Mr. Trump’s efforts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election there.

More:

“Grand jury used in probe of classified documents taken to Mar-a-Lago,” Matt Zapotosky, Jacqueline Alemany, and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post

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