WTF Community

Day 552

Updated 7/25/2018 10:36 AM PDT

1/ A federal judge ruled for a second time that Trump must face a lawsuit accusing him of improperly profiting from his Washington hotel after U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte denied the dismissal request. The attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia claim that Trump is violating the U.S. Constitution's foreign emoluments clause by taking payments from foreign governments at the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Washington. Trump faces a separate emoluments case in Washington, filed by about 200 Congressional Democrats, which the administration also argued for dismissal last month. (Bloomberg / Washington Post)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

The White House on Wednesday pushed to next year President Trump’s planned meeting with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, a move that comes amid intensifying criticism of Trump’s conflicting statements on Russian interference in U.S. elections.

“The President believes that the next bilateral meeting with President Putin should take place after the Russia witch hunt is over, so we’ve agreed that it will be after the first of the year,” national security adviser John Bolton said in a statement, referring to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.


Charlie Rowley does not remember exactly where he picked up the box containing the small glass bottle, but he does recall what was inside. It was definitely not perfume as he had originally supposed, but an oily substance that had very little smell at all.

It was only when he regained consciousness weeks later in a British hospital that the police told him what the substance was: a military-grade nerve agent known as a Novichok that British authorities believe was most likely left behind by Russian assassins.

Some days I feel like I’m living in a spy novel.


And don’t forget that as soon as Trump took office, he stopped publishing the White House visitor logs. A law suit filed by the watchdog group Public Citizen resulted in a limited release of visitor logs for some White House agencies, but not for the Oval Office.


This is literally a scene out of Killing Eve. Fantastic spy show, highly recommended!


What these Cohen tapes are disclosing about hush money, and illegal use of campaign funds is newsworthy. The purpose of exposing what they say is a curious phenomenon.

Who gains from the tape release? Is Cohen still hedging his bets in support of the president. Pundits are suggesting it is very curious that Cohen has not come out (flipped) and he may still be playing both sides.

The recording marks a startling new chapter in the mystery surrounding Trump, Cohen, and payoffs made in the closing days of the 2016 campaign. As November approached, Cohen paid $130,000 to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an affair she had with Trump. That August, AMI, which owns the National Enquirer, bought the rights to McDougal’s story of an affair with Trump for a similar amount, $150,000, but never published any stories on the subject. Federal investigators are reportedly looking into whether these payments constituted campaign-finance violations—cash spent on Trump’s behalf to prevent damaging information about him from leaking out, but without being properly disclosed. Trump’s spokespeople have denied that he knew about the AMI payment until just before the election, a denial clearly contradicted by the new recording, which is from September 2016. They have continued to deny any legal wrongdoing, and that the president has engaged in extramarital affairs.

The recording also raises the question of whether Trump Organization funds were used to make illegal campaign contributions. During the conversation, Cohen is heard telling Trump that he spoke to “Allen” about the payments, an apparent reference to Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, who has also handled aspects of the president’s personal finances and served as the treasurer of his foundation.

It would be a reporting violation if Trump used his own funds for such a payment, and both a reporting violation and a prohibited corporate contribution if Trump Organization funds were used,” Brendan Fischer with the Campaign Legal Center said in an email. “The evidence suggests there wasn’t always a clear distinction between Trump’s personal funds and Trump Organization funds (or Trump Foundation funds, for that matter).”

As a media organization, AMI benefits from an exemption in campaign-finance law, which states that an “expenditure” does not include any news story “distributed” through a publication by a press entity acting in its “legitimate press function.” If AMI purchased the McDougal story and simply decided not to run it, it would be exercising its judgment as a journalistic organization and there would be nothing untoward about it. If it purchased the story without intending to run it, however, it might not be subject to that exemption.


The Emoluments abuse case is getting more traction…and still going ahead. Judicial branch showing some spine.

A federal judge on Wednesday rejected President Trump’s latest effort to stop a lawsuit that alleges Trump is violating the Constitution by continuing to do business with foreign governments.

The ruling, from U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte in Greenbelt, Md., will allow the plaintiffs — the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia — to proceed with their case, which says Trump has violated little-used anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution known as emoluments clauses.

This ruling appeared to mark the first time a federal judge had interpreted those constitutional provisions and applied their restrictions to a sitting president.


Here’s more curtailing of the press - notably Kaitlin Collins of CNN. She is a great reporter, and even got the scoop last night

Her scoop last night - perhaps the admin - Bill Shine and prez does not like this.


Looks like push is coming to shove.

Conservative lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a resolution calling for the impeachment of Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, in a move that marks a dramatic escalation in the battle over the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The effort, spearheaded by Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), also sets up a showdown with House Republican leaders, who have distanced themselves from calls to remove Rosenstein from office. But Meadows and Jordan stopped short of forcing an immediate vote on the measure, sparing Republican lawmakers for now from a potential dilemma.

I hope this is forced to a vote as soon as possible – that way, we can get an irrefutable accounting of where every member of congress stands. Each representative better think long and hard about how they will vote. Any member who votes “yes” and who is up for re-election will pay dearly for that vote in the mid-terms.


You wonder if this ‘rush to judgement’ will work…and I agree with you, it feels like a quick way to stomp out Rosenstein and the investigation in general.
This could be the start of our Saturday Night Massacre, which did bring down the president.

Also shows a lot of ‘nothing to see here’ mentality. Wha?!!

WTF moment. Bigly.

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This is why Facebook stock tanked (-24%) today. WTF…

Alex Jones streamed a Facebook Live rant in which he accused Robert Mueller of raping children and fantasized about shooting the special counsel. A Facebook spokesperson told BuzzFeed that Jones’s comments did not violate the company’s community standards, and were “not a credible statement of intent to commit violence,” suggesting yet again that avoiding bad-faith accusations of anti-conservative bias is more important to the company than basic decency and responsible behavior. In other news, Facebook stock tanked because it missed its revenue and usage targets



Facebook Stock


**Read Court Docs Below **:point_down:

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Once again, the Trump administration propels us into uncharted waters with this deeply disturbing declaration by John Bolton. To me, the takeaway here is not the delay, but the public display of contempt for the intelligence services that have pledged to protect us. When, in the entire history of the United States, has the President’s National Security Advisor openly and flagrantly contradicted or disrespected our intelligence services?

This didn’t even happen during the Nixon era. Henry Kissinger was Nixon’s NSA, and to my knowledge, he never publicly criticized any of our intelligence agencies. Nixon himself was said to have called the Watergate investigation a “witch hunt,” but this was a leak from inside the White House, not a public declaration (see the famous article by Woodward and Bernstein below). In contrast, our current President has publicly denounced the Russia investigation as a “witch hunt” over 60 times so far this year. And now he’s enlisted his National Security Advisor to join the disinformation chorus.



Atrocities in public and backdoor deals in secret. This doesn’t even feel like the United States anymore.

I’m listening to Brad Thor’s “State of the Union”. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s only fiction because it so eerily seems like reading the front page.

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