Posts Tagged ‘Trump’

Trump Tried to Buy Property in Russia While Running For President

August 29, 2017

Trump Tried to Buy Property in Russia While Running For President
“While Donald Trump was running for president in late 2015 and early 2016, his company was pursuing a plan to develop a massive Trump Tower in Moscow, according to several people familiar with the proposal and new records reviewed by Trump Organization lawyers.

” … the details of the deal … provide evidence that Trump’s business was actively pursuing significant commercial interests in Russia at the same time he was campaigning to be president — and in a position to determine U.S.-Russia relations. The new details from the emails, which are scheduled to be turned over to congressional investigators soon, also point to the likelihood of additional contacts between Russia-connected individuals and Trump associates during his presidential bid.”

“Trump denied having any business connections to Russia in July 2016, tweeting, ‘for the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia’ and then insisting at a news conference the following day, ‘I have nothing to do with Russia.’”

— “Trump’s business sought deal on a Trump Tower in Moscow while he ran for president,” Carol D. Leonnig, Tom Hamburger and Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post

“A top executive from Donald Trump’s real estate company emailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s personal spokesman during the U.S. presidential campaign last year to ask for help advancing a stalled Trump Tower development project in Moscow, according to documents submitted to Congress on Monday.”

— “Top Trump Organization executive asked Putin aide for help on business deal,” Rosalind S. Helderman, Carol D. Leonnig and Tom Hamburger, Washington Post



Trump Pardons Disgraced Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio

August 28, 2017

Trump Pardons Disgraced Racist Ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, recently convicted on federal contempt charges for violating a court order forbidding his racial profiling tactics, has been pardoned by President Trump.

In 2016 the 83-year-old Sheriff, an early and ardent Trump supporter, failed to win re-election after 23 years in office, despite having armed deputies assigned to polling places in an effort to intimidate Mexican-American voters. While elderly Arpaio failed at the polls, his voter suppression effort helped deliver more votes for Donald Trump in Maricopa County than any other county in America. One more reason for Mr. Trump’s bromance with the law-breaking ex-lawman.

President Trump was so eager to get “Sheriff Joe” off the hook, he asked Jeff Sessions to drop the case before Arpaio was convicted.


“Trump pardons Joe Arpaio, former sheriff convicted in racial profiling case,” Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian

“Trump pardons `Sheriff Joe’ for defying court orders to halt racial profiling,” Todd J. Gilman, Dallas News


‘Back Up, You Creep!’

August 24, 2017

'Back Up, You Creep!'

Hillary Clinton’s book about the 2016 election, What Happened, will be released on September 12th, but excerpts from the audio book have emerged, none more interesting than her reflection on the October 9th debate in St. Louis when Donald Trump followed her around around the stage, looming over her:

“It was incredibly uncomfortable. He was literally breathing down my neck. My skin crawled.”

“What would you do? Do you stay calm, keep smiling and carry on as if he weren’t repeatedly invading your space? Or do you turn, look him in the eye and say loudly and clearly ‘Back up, you creep. Get away from me. I know you love to intimidate women, but you can’t intimidate me, so back up.’ “


Nice! Not Nice!

August 18, 2017

“Nice! Not Nice!” The President Show, on Comedy Central.


“Why The President Show Might Just Work,” David sims, The Atlantic


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Border Patrol Hiring Surge

August 17, 2017

President Trump plans to hire and train 5,000 more Border Patrol agents, 500 in the next year. There’s even a mobile app to recruit them. What could possibly go wrong? John Oliver explains.


“Trump’s plan for Border Patrol, ICE hiring surges face timing, security obstacles,” Caroline Kelly Todd J. Gillman, Dallas Morning News

“The Border Patrol’s Corruption Problem,” Jeremy Raff, The Atlantic

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President Trump Clarifies His Remarks

August 17, 2017

President Trump Clarifies His Remarks
On Tuesday, President Trump clarified his thoughts on white nationalist protesters, stating that “you also had some very fine people on both sides” of the violence in Charlottesville. Very fine people like former KKK Grand Dragon David Duke  thanked him for his support. Mr. Trump also compared Robert E. Lee with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Political leaders and commentators were quick to express their appreciation:

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL):  “Your comments give white supremacists ‘a win.'”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “there are no good neo-Nazis.”

Rep. Paul Ryan (R, WI-1): “White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity.”

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA): “It’s wrong. Why can’t he just say that?”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): “What the president said yesterday was wrong. There is no moral equivalence between those who are inciting hate and division and those who took to the streets to make it clear that those views are unacceptable. Every one of us must stand against hatred, bigotry, and violence, in both our words and our actions.”

Rep. Leonard Lance (R, NJ-7): “Mr. President, there is only one side: AGAINST white supremacists, neo-Nazis, anti-Semites & the KKK. They have no place in America or GOP.”

Admiral John Richardson: “The shameful events in Charlottesville are unacceptable and must not be tolerated.”

Rep. Steve Scalise (R, LA-1): “We must defeat white supremacy”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “…you are now receiving praise from some of the most racist and hate-filled individuals and groups in our country.”

Rep. Paul Mitchell (R, MI-10): “You can’t be a “very fine person” and be a white supremacist”

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK): “Anything less than complete & unambiguous condemnation of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK by the @POTUS is unacceptable. Period.”

Rep. Charlie Dent (R, MI-15): “POTUS must stop the moral equivalency! AGAIN, white supremacists were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville”


Kim Thinks Trump Won’t Bite Himself In the Ass. We’re Not So Sure.

August 16, 2017

Kim Thinks Trump Won't Bite Himself In the Ass. We're Not So Sure.

As Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un blunder and bluster their way towards nuclear conflict, one factor may hold Mr. Trump back from a rash military act. It’s something very important to him: His own self-interest. “The president owns a 59 percent interest in Trump Korea LLC,” points out Phillip Y. Lipscy, “a joint venture with Daewoo.”

“Trump World Seoul consists of six properties located in Seoul, Busan, and Daegu. In particular, Trump World I, II, and III are located in the heart of Seoul, which would be subject to heavy North Korean conventional artillery bombardment in the event of a major peninsular conflict.

North Korea may thus perceive threats by the president as noncredible given his personal exposure to financial loss. Despite Trump’s tough rhetoric and sending aircraft carriers to nearby waters, Kim Jong Un may reasonably calculate that the president will not risk annihilation of what the Trump Organization describes as an ‘unmatched project that is a true asset to the Trump portfolio.’

Trump World Seoul also puts the president at risk of personal coercion by the North Korean regime. Kim Jong Un could seek to deter U.S. intervention by threatening to specifically target and destroy Trump’s business assets in the event of U.S. escalation. Kim need not physically destroy a Trump Tower to harm the president’s bottom line: Prominently identifying Trump properties as targets will affect their economic viability.

The president stands to lose personal wealth if a military conflict imperils any Trump property. In the vast majority of cases, insurance coverage for commercial property excludes damages sustained in interstate wars. The president therefore faces a direct, personal incentive to avoid escalating conflicts that could potentially result in the destruction of Trump Organization assets.”

— “The Trump Tower Peace Theory,” Phillip Y. Lipscy, Foreign Policy

On the other hand, playing chicken is second nature to Mr. Trump, and this kind of dispute brings out the playground bully in him. It’s why he’s involved in 3,500 lawsuits, but he can’t lawyer his way out of this.

Maybe President Trump should consult with his Ambassador to South Korea. Oh wait, he hasn’t appointed one.


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Hatred, Bigotry and Violence

August 15, 2017

Hatred, Bigotry and Violence

After white nationalists descended on Charlottesville Virginia to protest planned removal of a Robert E Lee statue, a car was deliberately driven into a group of peaceful counter-protesters, killing one person and injuring 19. The car ramming was called an act of “domestic terrorism” by many from across the political spectrum, who condemned the white nationalist movement behind it. While he first resisted calling out the white racists, domestic fascists, KKK members, and neo-confederates behind the fatal attack, two days later Donald Trump finally joined the critics.

Why was Mr. Trump reluctant to condemn these malignant groups? Because they were early and enthusiastic endorsers of his presidential bid, and he never disavowed their support during or after the campaign, until now. The alt-right, white nationalists, neo-confederates, and old-fashioned white racists form a significant part of his core constituency, and Charlottesville’s “Unite the Right” was their event.

While many Republicans were quick to condemn the White Supremacists behind Charlottesville, the GOP has been using a white racist strategy for decades. Donald Trump Trump just shinnied up that poison tree.


“‘Blood and soil’: Protesters chant Nazi slogan in Charlottesville,” Meg Wagner, CNN

“How Donald Trump emboldened Charlottesville white supremacists,” Eric Hananoki, Media Matters

“Charlottesville And The Rise Of White Identity Politics,” Perry Bacon Jr., FiveThirtyEight

“The Hoods Are Off,” Matt Thompson, The Atlantic

“These are your people, President Trump,” Colbert I. King, Washington Post

“How white supremacy morphed into white victimization,” Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune


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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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Tuckered From Tweeting, Trump Takes a Vacation

August 7, 2017

Tuckered From Tweeting, Trump Takes a Vacation

On Friday President Trump, the man who said he’d be too busy to take vacations, started a 17-day vacation at his golf resort in New Jersey.

Donald Trump has taken 42 golf outings to date during the first 6 months of his presidency.  Taxpayers recently covered $41 million in security costs for New Jersey’s Trump National Bedminster resort.

In other news, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway called special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation a “fishing expedition.” Russian President Vladimir Putin immediately went to Siberia’s Lake Baikal, took off his shirt, and picked up his fishing rod.


Trump Immigration Policy

August 4, 2017

Trump Immigration Policy

Yesterday President Donald Trump announced his new immigration policy, which would restrict legal entry to the United States to highly-skilled, rich people who already speak English. If that policy had been in place in the past, Friedrich Trump, the president’s German-speaking grandfather, would never have landed in America, and his Scottish immigrant mother, a domestic servant, would have been denied entry. They were “legal” immigrants for the simple fact that they arrived at a time when there was no “illegal immigration” (for white people, anyway).

More recently, while Donald Trump’s two immigrant wives spoke some functional English when they arrived in the US, they were relatively unskilled, unless pouting and walking on a runway counts.

Even Trump policy advisor Stephen Miller, the anti-immigrant zealot and poetry-hating pest, is descended from low-skilled, impoverished  immigrant great-grandparents fleeing anti-semitic violence in Belarus. They arrived in New York Harbor aboard the German ship S.S. Moltke in 1903, the same year the plaque bearing the Emma Lazarus poem describing their plight was installed on the base of the Statue of Liberty, which welcomed them to the United States.