WTF Community

👑 Portrait of a President

One gets the feeling that Woodward’s methodology is pretty bullet proof - he tapes interviews, fleshes out a complete picture with multiple sources.

At this juncture, we are spilling over in ‘crazytown’ WH news - or as @matt likes to put it - the ‘shock and awe’ of everyday Trumplandia

A WTF compendium…perhaps. :facepunch:

NYTimes: In ‘Fear,’ Bob Woodward Pulls Back the Curtain on President Trump’s ‘Crazytown’

3 Likes

More of this character busting portrait of the prez, in case you had any doubt!:sweat_smile:

WASHINGTON — As President Trump tries to refute the portrayal in the latest attention-grabbing book, he has not only denied saying the things attributed to him, he has denied that he has ever said anything like them. The problem for Mr. Trump is that, in some cases at least, the record shows that he has.

“The Woodward book is a scam,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday morning about “Fear: Trump in the White House,” the new volume to be published by Bob Woodward next week. “I don’t talk the way I am quoted. If I did I would not have been elected President. These quotes were made up.”

In particular, Mr. Trump has denied that he called Attorney General Jeff Sessions “mentally retarded” or a “dumb Southerner,” as the book reports. “I said NEITHER, never used those terms on anyone, including Jeff, and being a southerner is a GREAT thing,” the president wrote earlier this week.

But, in fact, Mr. Trump has used the phrase “mentally retarded” on recorded radio shows that have been unearthed this week. And in a previously unreported incident, a journalist who used to interact with Mr. Trump during his days as a real estate developer in New York said this week that he even used the phrase “dumb southerner” to describe his own in-laws.

Ms. MacIntosh had called Mr. Trump one day in May 1997 to ask him about a tip she had received that his second wife, Marla Maples, had purchased two gold Lexus cars and that he had made her return them.

He said, ‘I have something better for you,’ ” Ms. MacIntosh recalled in an interview on Wednesday. If she dropped that story, he said, he would give her bigger news — that he planned to divorce Ms. Maples. When Ms. MacIntosh pressed him on why, he “essentially blamed her family,” she said, referring to Ms. Maples’s Georgia-based relatives.

Are you old enough to remember the show ‘The Beverly Hillbillies?’ ” he asked Ms. MacIntosh.

She replied yes, and Mr. Trump laughed and said, “That’s exactly her family, except they came to New York City instead of Beverly Hills.” Ms. MacIntosh added,

“I said, ‘What do you mean?’ And he said she was constantly surrounded ‘by an entourage of dumb Southerners.’” He even adopted a fake southern accent to mimic Ms Maples.

5 Likes

Barbara Ras is a former employee of T.

Ordering an underling to do something that was impossible gave Trump the opportunity to castigate a subordinate and also blame him for anything that “went wrong” in connection with the unperformed order later. A Trump-style win-win.

Trump did this with outrageous or just plain stupid ideas, both legal and illegal. Sometimes those lines were blurred.

When he asked me to do something that could not be done, I often fought back, but always at a cost. Sometimes, I just did what he asked, planning for the necessary fix or damage control later.

But many times, I played along with him and then didn’t carry out his order.

So when I saw the snippets of Bob Woodward’s book and the anonymous Op-Ed piece, I wasn’t surprised. To an extent, Trump has always relied on people not to follow his most ridiculous orders.

Trump is really not all that different now, but the stakes are higher. And there aren’t many order refusers anymore either. Off the record, staffers tell reporters that Trump is out of control.

3 Likes

T’s former lawyer, Jay Goldberg probably most famous for defending T during his two divorces from Ivana and Marla Maples has written a book on T. T has been dismissive of both Goldberg and shuts down Mr. Goldberg’s criticisms. The relationship now is very fraught and some of Goldberg’s comments needing to be walked back.

He also said that Mr. Trump sustained attacks from political foes and the press have left the president “punch-drunk,” causing him to lash out without “appropriate restraint.

Mr. Goldberg said he has been dismayed by some of Mr. Trump’s comments, including recent assertions about a strong administration response to Hurricane Maria, which killed 3,000 people in Puerto Rico.

There’s so much pounding against him from all different directions, he says things that if he had chance to reflect he wouldn’t say,” Mr. Goldberg said.

Later, Mr. Goldberg said through the spokeswoman that he didn’t mean that Mr. Trump was punch-drunk. Rather, he said that he would be punch-drunk if he had to endure the attacks that Mr. Trump has seen as president

It goes on to describe some of what drives T - his ‘devil-may-care attitude’

Mr. Goldberg said he believes that no hush payments should have been made.
“I never would do that because I never do anything which cannot stand the light of day,” he said.
He added: “Never give a person anything to hold over our head.”
Mr. Trump’s representatives have denied that he had affairs with either Ms. McDougal or Ms. Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels.

For his part, Mr. Goldberg said he believes the affairs likely took place.

“He’s a devil-may-care guy,” Mr. Goldberg said of the president.

Mr. Goldberg recalls Mr. Trump as a disciplined client who heeded legal advice.
“He wanted to sue this person, he wanted to sue that person,” he said. “He felt very strongly about it. I would reject it; he would listen.”

3 Likes

Here are some choice words from John Kerry, who is doing a book tour but was on Bill Maher last night. The book is call “Every Day Is Extra,”

Kerry said of Trump: “He really is the rare combination – He’s got the maturity of an eight-year-old boy with the insecurity of a teenage girl. That’s just who he is.

:girl: :boy:

4 Likes

Some tax evasion uncovered when Trump inherited his father’s fortune.
This has to be very damaging news.

Much of this money came to Mr. Trump because he helped his parents dodge taxes. He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents, records and interviews show. Records indicate that Mr. Trump helped his father take improper tax deductions worth millions more. He also helped formulate a strategy to undervalue his parents’ real estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars on tax returns, sharply reducing the tax bill when those properties were transferred to him and his siblings.

These maneuvers met with little resistance from the Internal Revenue Service, The Times found. The president’s parents, Fred and Mary Trump, transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children, which could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million under the 55 percent tax rate then imposed on gifts and inheritances.

The Trumps paid a total of $52.2 million, or about 5 percent, tax records show.


According to tax experts, it is unlikely that Mr. Trump would be vulnerable to criminal prosecution for helping his parents evade taxes, because the acts happened too long ago and are past the statute of limitations. There is no time limit, however, on civil fines for tax fraud.


The theme I see here through all of this is valuations: They play around with valuations in extreme ways,” said Lee-Ford Tritt, a University of Florida law professor and a leading expert in gift and estate tax law. “There are dramatic fluctuations depending on their purpose.”

3 Likes

Always a suspect number, his personal wealth…has diminished mostly because’ Some wealthy patrons are steering clear of Trump properties, saying the country club experience is now ruined "by metal detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs."

The presidency has been bad for Donald Trump’s finances, with his personal net worth falling from $4.5 billion to $3.1 billion over the past two years, according to the latest Forbes billionaires list.

Trump dropped 138 spots to 259 on the Forbes 400, an annual measure of the richest people in the U.S. During that same period, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos rose to the top spot, with an estimated fortune 52 times greater than that of the president, at $160 billion.

Forbes attributed the decline of Trump’s fortune to three main factors: e-commerce eating into the value of Trump’s real estate holdings, the intrusion of heightened security at Trump’s resorts, and Trump’s own over-reporting of the size of his penthouse.

1 Like

This bit of insight from Trevor Noah of The Daily Show about how Trump wields victimhood for his own benefit. I couldn’t find a written transcript online, so here’s a bit from the start of the video that I transcribed myself:

I don’t know if you saw that rally that he hosted where he came out and he mocked Dr. Ford. I don’t know if you saw the little press conference-y moment that he gave outside the White House where he talked about men and he said “it’s a really scary time to be a man right now… really scary time for men. Worst time ever to be a man.” And then someone asked… he said “You can be accused of something you didn’t do and your life is over - That’s it, your life is over.” And then they asked him later “what about women, what is it for them?” and he said “It’s great, women are doing great.”

And you know what I realized in that moment, just looking at the sentiment and message that Trump was conveying. It’s a really powerful thing that I think people take for granted, and that is, for me personally, I find Trump’s most powerful tool is that he knows how to wield victimhood. He knows how to offer victimhood to people who have the least claim to it, which is a really, really powerful tool.

Cause you realize what he’s doing in that moment is he’s saying “The real victims of the #MeToo movement are men. They’re the real victims.”

6 Likes

I agree…here’s another take similar sounding. Stay grieving over some kind of victimization. This along with anger is their magic combo.

2 Likes

I found an interesting study tidbit on twitter that may explain why 45 is so self-centered & callous: studies suggest that power degrades the brain’s ability to empathise:

4 Likes

Just read…

4 Likes

^^^^ this is an amazing piece

3 Likes

I know, right?! WTF?!

2 Likes

All about optics…:eyes::mag:

Checking CHris Hayes MSNBC who just interviewed Olivia…and she talked about it feeling staged for better optics.

2 Likes

Good Grief!

1 Like
4 Likes

More deep dives into T and his family’s financial interests in the US and around the world, and how they ‘oversell,’ their properties - claim that there is more occupancy achieved/value than there really is.

ProPublica, non-profit watchdog organization finds these results.

Projects Where a Trump Family Member Overstated Sales Numbers

Dominican Republic
Claim: Donald Trump claimed $365 million in sales in a 2007 letter to The Wall Street Journal.
Reality: Trump reported $290 million in a 2009 project audit.
Result: Never built.

Fort Lauderdale
Claim: Trump announced the hotel/condo was “pretty much sold out” in April 2006, according to a broker who attended the presentation.
Reality: 62 percent of units were sold as of July 2006, according to bank records that emerged in a court case.
Result: Entered foreclosure. Trump’s name removed before construction completed.

Las Vegas
Claim: Condos “sold out,” Trump told The Associated Press in 2005
Reality: About 25 percent of units were sold by 2011, according to press accounts.
Result: Built.

Panama
Claim: “It’s a 1,000-unit building, we’ve sold over 90 percent of it,” Ivanka told Portfolio in 2008.
Reality: As of three months later, 79 percent of the units were pre-sold, according to Moody’s.
Result: Built, but went bankrupt; Trump name removed.

SoHo
Claim: In 2008, Ivanka told reporters that 60 percent of units had sold.
Reality: A Trump partner’s affidavit revealed that 15 percent had been sold at the time.
Result: Built, but went bankrupt; Trump name removed.

Tampa
Claim: The building “sold out,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal in 2007.
Reality: The developers failed to sell a minimum of 70 percent of units, according to a Trump company letter that year, which deemed that a violation of its contract.
Result: Never built.

Toronto
Claim: In a 2009 interview, Ivanka referred to the property as “virtually sold out.”
Reality: 24.8 percent of units had sold, according to a 2016 bankruptcy filing by the developers.
Result: Built, but went bankrupt; Trump name removed.

Article highlights how some of the financial deals were struck with brokers, and when payments were to be made. Also describes the percentages T’s reaped after a building was occupied. I know nothing about how licensing works, but these seem like extremely favorable rates for T’s family.

Even as brokers were taking cash out quickly, buyers were given time to put their money in. They anted up just 10 percent upon signing a purchase contract, according to the bond prospectus. They paid the remaining 20 percent in increments over the year after that.

Khafif complained of soaring construction costs and raised prices even as brokers hustled for contracts, Studnicky said. “I kept saying I understand the problem, but if you keep pushing the prices up, people are never going to be able to close on these things,” he said.

The higher prices climbed, the more the Trumps stood to pocket. Their licensing agreement gave them a base fee of 4 percent of gross sales when units closed. (This was on top of the $1 million Trump was given in advance for the use of his name.) They also received an “incentive fee”: the higher the price rose above benchmarks, the greater a proportion the Trumps earned, records show. A hotel-condominium unit that sold for $385,000, for example, would produce a payment of $20,650 — just over 5 percent — to Trump’s company.

That was just the beginning. Along with the cut of sales, Trump’s 2006 licensing agreement provided the family other cash streams from the Panama project. The Trumps could take a 20 percent commission on construction costs if money was saved through Trump dealmaking, for instance. Once the hotel opened, they would pocket 17.5 percent of what hotel guests paid for their rooms, including what they spent on minibar items, internet service and even bathrobes; 4 percent for parking unit sales; and 12 percent of commercial space rentals. The Trump Organization would also receive 4 percent of the hotel’s gross revenue for managing it, plus an incentive fee equal to a fifth of the hotel’s net operating income.

4 Likes

Some imponderables as to why T does or does NOT do things…or act on things.

@ddale8 (Daniel Dale - Journalist Toronto Star)

AP: Why haven’t you visited troops in a combat zone?

Trump: “Well, I will do that at some point, but I don’t think it’s overly necessary. I’ve been very busy with everything that’s taking place here. …I’m doing a lot of things. But it’s something I’d do. And do gladly.”
8:05 PM - 16 Oct 2018

1 Like

So the President just declared himself a Nationalist at a campaign rally for Ted Cruz. So that becomes a fact now right? We now have a self-proclaimed Nationalist President.

5 Likes

The words “nationalist” and “globalist” — both loaded terms with sometimes sinister implications — have made their way into the popular political lexicon since Trump ascended to the White House.

He is INSTIGATOR-IN-CHIEF - and knows only rhetoric, rabble-rousing his base for the mid-terms.

Another famous instigator and spouting Nationalism, who knows no civil boundaries - Hilter

Disgusting. :hear_no_evil:

4 Likes