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👑 Portrait of a President

These attributes - Inability to admit error, only looking for rosy assessments, and tendency towards magical thinking are among the worst fatal flaws in this presidency. T will never get a realistic handle on any big issue if it brings him towards looking like a loser.

Just as his niece, Mary Trump had been alluding - you never admit you are in any way wrong which was instilled by T’s father, who only spoke in winning terms. Otherwise, you (and T is) one big loser.

*president’s inability to wholly address the crisis is due to his almost pathological unwillingness to admit error; a positive feedback loop of overly rosy assessments and data from advisers and Fox News; and a penchant for magical thinking

People close to Trump, many speaking anonymously to share candid discussions and impressions, say the president’s inability to wholly address the crisis is due to his almost pathological unwillingness to admit error; a positive feedback loop of overly rosy assessments and data from advisers and Fox News; and a penchant for magical thinking that prevented him from fully engaging with the pandemic.

In recent weeks, with more than 146,000 Americans now dead from the virus, the White House has attempted to overhaul — or at least rejigger — its approach. The administration has revived news briefings led by Trump himself and presented the president with projections showing how the virus is now decimating Republican states full of Trump voters. Officials have also set up a separate, smaller coronavirus working group led by Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, along with Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.

(Need to cross post in Coronavirus area - did not know there was a smaller Coronavrus task force with Dr. Birx and Jared. Where’s Pence’s group?)


Building the Wall.

No, not that wall.

This wall:

White House continues building 13-foot high ‘anti climb’ wall after protests

Twice as high fences will reduce views from iconic Pennsylvania Avenue, one month after anti-protest barricades

The White House is on course to complete a planned multi-million dollar perimeter fence replacement as construction continues.

Pictures shared online showed construction advancing along Pennsylvania Avenue, where views of the White House are expected to be impaired when the new fence is completed next year.

Parts of the street have been blocked off and a temporary wall has been erected, as construction takes place.

Under plans that pre-date Donald Trump’s administration, the White House will upgrade all perimeter steel fencing with new 13-foot “anti-climb” fences.

The enhanced security measures also include wider and stronger fence posts, intrusion detection technology, and “future security threat” mitigation, according to the plans.

The current fence, at six-foot tall, was said to have permitted multiple intrusion attempts and lapses in security over the past decade.

One incident in 2014 saw an armed man enter the White House, which led to the resignation of the then chief of the US Secret Service.

The Secret Service, in partnership with the US National Parks Service, says some 3,500 feet of steel fencing will encircle the White House upon the project’s completion.

The construction, which began a year ago, comes after temporary 8-foot barricades and an enhanced security zone were created to counteract Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Washington DC last month.

That decision, which came amid nationwide anger over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd – an unarmed black man – was condemned as walling-off protesters from “the people’s house”.

“It’s a sad commentary that the [White] House and its inhabitants have to be walled off,” said District of Colombia mayor Muriel Boswer last month.


Good observation…“Nobody likes me.”
check twitter photo below…chron says it all. :exploding_head:

Trump complains that Americans like Fauci more than him

WASHINGTON — President Trump used a White House press briefing on Tuesday to wonder aloud why he was less liked than Dr. Anthony Fauci, a prominent member of the White House

“Nobody likes me,” the president said in a rare moment of self-reflection. “It can only be my personality, that’s all.” His lament came on the same day that the nation surpassed the grim benchmark of 150,000 deaths as a result of the pandemic.

“Remember, he’s working for this administration,” Trump said of Fauci, who is not a political appointee. “He’s working with us. We could’ve gotten other people. We could’ve gotten somebody else. It didn’t have to be Dr. Fauci.”

Trump has long been at odds with Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. A veteran of the battle to find a cure for HIV an AIDS, Fauci is now serving his sixth president. And though he is adept at protecting his domain, he has lately been forced to navigate a political climate in which science and expertise have been treated with profound suspicion.


T being interviewed…squeamishly horrible man.

Watch “AXIOS on HBO: President Trump Exclusive Interview (Full Episode) | HBO” on YouTube


When they start on the number of American deaths and he says ”it is what it is” :exploding_head:

Ok, half-way through and this is excruciating.

Wow. He’s getting worse. He was always just a stream of consciousness vocalized but in this video he seems very confused by his own thoughts often begrudgingly conceding to :swan:‘s points. As the Speaker of the House says, we should pray for the President and the people of United States of America.


Yes…he’s trapped in his own rhetoric, and not making the mental connections to be able to state back a true argument, which is always spin. Love the way Swan says right at the beginning that “People are frustrated listening to the salesmanship…and are looking for facts” (approx quote).

Yup…he bulldozes through any coherent argument…then spins it to China, or some other group that needs to be blamed - (Dems are creating riots, and antifa is running wild etc)

Sometimes I think Swan was grinning at him, or perhaps laughing when the camera was facing T, which was interesting to consider. The interviewer Swan was beyond patient, but did get in a lot of jabs.

Yes, T is failing…and all the stuff about mental decline is right there in front of us.

And Pelosi is right…pray for this man…that hopes he finds the exit door soon. :pray:


Another critique.


Honestly, I’ve been waiting for this. Who didn’t see this coming after how he talked about John McCain?

President Trump declined to praise the late Rep. John Lewis in an interview, claiming that he himself has done more for Black Americans than anyone else. "He didn’t come to my inauguration. He didn’t come to my State of the Union speeches,” Trump said. “He should’ve come.”

President Trump declined to praise the late Rep. John Lewis in an interview with Axios on HBO , claiming that he himself had done more for the Black community than anyone else. And Trump criticized the civil rights icon’s decision not to attend his 2017 presidential inauguration.

When asked in the interview, which aired Monday evening, how history would remember the Georgia lawmaker who died last month, Trump said: "I don’t know. I really don’t know.

“I don’t know John Lewis. He chose not to come to my inauguration. … I never met John Lewis actually, I don’t believe,” Trump said.

Pressed whether he was impressed by the late congressman, who was born into a family of sharecroppers and worked his way to becoming one of the most influential leaders in the civil rights movement before being elected to Congress, Trump deferred.

“I find a lot of people impressive. I find many people not impressive,” Trump said. "He didn’t come to my inauguration. He didn’t come to my State of the Union speeches. And that’s OK, that’s his right. And again, nobody has done more for Black Americans than I have. He should’ve come. I think he made a big mistake.

“He was a person that devoted a lot of energy and lot of heart to civil rights. But there were many others also.”

Condemnation of Trump’s remarks was swift and severe on Tuesday.

“He’s delusional. He’s a narcissist, and he is delusional,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in an interview with CNN.

“He’s done nothing for African Americans in this country, and to speak that in the same sentence as speaking of John Lewis is almost blasphemous,” she said.


CNN reporting - and I have no doubt about this.




The Biggest Trump Financial Mystery? Where He Came Up With the Cash for His Scottish Resorts.

Donald Trump dumped $400 million into his clubs in Aberdeen and Turnberry. Now, lawmakers in Edinburgh want to investigate him for money laundering.

In 2006, Donald Trump purchased a 1,400-acre swath of the old Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire, a rambling property situated on Scotland’s rugged and remote northeastern coast. Trump pledged to develop a world-class golf resort replete with luxury villas there, and he vowed to revitalize the region with more than a billion dollars of investment. Though not an obvious location for a glitzy development—the area is mostly known for its offshore oil industry, and it rains more than a third of the year—Aberdeenshire was to be the beachhead of the mogul’s ambitious plan to insert his family name among the storied golf courses of Scotland, the birthplace of the sport, and attain for his brand the kind of old-world prestige that had eluded Trump in the United States.

The development seemed particularly important to Trump, whose mother hailed from the Isle of Lewis, a far-flung island in the Outer Hebrides. And it was unlike anything he had undertaken before. He often licenses his name to projects financed by others. And the self-proclaimed “king of debt” typically takes out large loans to finance the ventures he does bankroll. In this case, Trump’s company proceeded with the development on its own. And it says it paid for everything in cash.

Such was also the case for Turnberry, the historic golf resort, an hour south of Glasgow, that Trump purchased in 2014 for $60 million. His large expenditures in Scotland were notable because they came during a rocky financial stretch for Trump. The year before purchasing the Aberdeenshire estate, he was ousted as CEO of his thrice-bankrupted casino business; in 2008, he defaulted on a large Deutsche Bank loan tied to a development in Chicago.

Like other Trump wagers, his Scottish gamble has so far not worked out. Both resorts are bleeding millions annually. Meanwhile, he and his company have spent years viciously skirmishing with various locals and government agencies that resisted Trump’s plans to build luxury housing on the fringes of the resorts, which the Trump Organization seems to view as vital to profitability.

If business was lackluster before, it’s dismal now that the coronavirus pandemic has all but halted the Scottish golf season, at least as far as international travelers are concerned. To make matters worse, as Trump’s hospitality empire grapples with the fallout of COVID-19, it also faces a series of maturing debts, loans amounting to nearly a half-billion dollars, which need to be paid down or refinanced over the next four years.

Recently, a new—and perhaps bigger—threat to Trump has emerged in Scotland. Scottish lawmakers are pushing to peer into Trump’s finances using an anti-money-­laundering statute typically employed against kleptocrats, oligarchs, and crime kingpins. Their question: Where did the hundreds of millions Trump poured into his Scottish courses actually come from?

Early promotional materials for Aberdeenshire carried what purported to be the Trump clan’s baronial crest—three lions under an armored fist brandishing a spear and surrounded by a flourish of red and white feathers.

It was, no surprise, a fake. Trump had cribbed the coat of arms from Joseph Edward Davies, whose wife had built Mar-a-Lago and who had legitimately been granted the crest in the 1930s. He had made only one minor change, erasing the Davies family motto of “integritas” (integrity) and replacing it with “Trump.” He had used the doctored crest for years to peddle all sorts of products—from ties to beach towels—and it was plastered across his US properties.

But that didn’t fly in Scotland.

For centuries the country has had an office devoted to making sure people do not claim someone else’s family name. And after it determined Trump was indeed displaying a stolen coat of arms, he was barred from using it. The episode foretold Trump’s subsequent misadventures in Scotland, a country particularly resistant to his brand of flimflam.

In Aberdeenshire, Trump initially won over locals with his plans for a sprawling upscale golf community containing multiple courses ringed by tastefully designed homes. He vowed to bring 6,000 jobs to the area. But fierce opposition formed when Trump revealed his plans to build the first course atop environmentally sensitive sand dunes. In late 2007, local planners rejected Trump’s proposal, but after Scotland’s then–First Minister Alex Salmond met with Trump, the Scottish government stepped in to overrule the local authorities. Construction proceeded. But when Salmond refused to block a planned offshore wind farm in view of Trump’s course, Trump went ballistic. He wrote Salmond a series of bizarre letters in which he insisted that if Salmond allowed the wind farm, he would destroy any chance of Scottish independence, and “your economy will become a third world wasteland that global investors will avoid.”

At a hearing in 2012, a member of the Scottish Parliament asked Trump, who appeared in person, for evidence that the turbines would damage Scottish tourism.

“Well, first of all, I am the evidence. I’m more of an expert than the people you’d like me to hire…I am considered a world-class expert in tourism,” Trump declared without missing a beat, as the room broke out in laughter and audience members rolled their eyes.

Trump eventually sued the Scottish government but lost so resoundingly that in 2019 he was ordered to pay its legal fees. The wind farm had been completed the previous year.

Meanwhile, Trump became embroiled in petty disputes with his neighbors in Aberdeenshire. At first, these were the type of NIMBY contretemps that are to be expected when a large development is proposed in a small community. But with Trump, whose business credo is “get even with people,” things quickly escalated.

The Menie Estate had been sold off in parcels over the years, requiring him to purchase it piece by piece. But a group of homeowners whose properties formed small enclaves amid the larger estate defied Trump’s entreaties to sell.

David Milne was one of them. In 1992, he purchased a decommissioned coast guard watch station on the property. It was government-owned, Milne says, and “dead cheap.”

“It was an empty, cold industrial building,” Milne recalls, describing how he wandered through the structure, eventu­ally making his way to a tower with a panoramic view of the North Sea. “I came upstairs and got into what is now my office and looked out at the view and it was just a case of, ‘Wow! Yes, I’m having this!’ And the deal was done. I put down my roots and never moved. There’s literally my blood, sweat, and tears in this building in various walls. Heartaches, heartbreaks, success, pain, and triumph. I’m proud of this building, proud of this house.”

Perched on a hillock overlooking what would become the 18th hole, Milne’s home stood dead in the center of Trump’s vision of a pristine golf course for elite jet-setters. “I want to get rid of that house,” Trump declared during a visit to his course in 2010, adding, “We’re trying to build the greatest course in the world. This house is ugly.”

Milne and his wife rejected Trump’s purchase offer, which Milne describes as laughably low. Trump raised his price slightly and attempted to sweeten the deal by offering Milne, who rarely golfs, a lifetime membership at the club and access to its spa. After the Milnes rebuffed that offer, Trump’s lawyer asked local authorities to take their home—and those of others who refused to sell—by compulsory purchase (the UK version of eminent domain). Milne and several other neighbors fought off the attempt. He contends Trump then tried to harass them out of their properties.

“You don’t have to sniff the air very long to see there’s something that smells,” says Scottish Parliament member Patrick Harvie.

Construction work severed Milne’s water and phone lines. Milne says the Trump Organization also encircled his property with trees to block his view, attempted to construct a giant berm hemming him in, and threatened to knock down his garage for allegedly being built over the property line (it wasn’t). Ultimately, Trump’s company erected a fence around the Milnes’ property—then billed the couple for the work.

Milne tossed the bill and has delighted in telling the story ever since—especially since Trump made his famous campaign pledge in 2016 to “build a great, great wall on our southern border” and make Mexico pay for it. The Milnes now fly a Mexican flag (next to the Saltire, the Scottish flag) outside their home, within view of the Trump clubhouse.

Trump’s heated squabbles with Milne and other neighbors had a sideshow quality—bizarre, ham-handed, and often self-defeating—but there was something stranger still about the amounts of cash he has dumped into Aberdeenshire and Turnberry.

He spent nearly $13 million purchasing the land for the Aberdeenshire course, and as much as $50 million developing the property. All, apparently, in cash. According to Trump, after purchasing Turnberry in 2014 for $60 million from a holding company owned by the government of Dubai, he dished out as much as $200 million rehabbing the venerable property.

Neither has ever turned a profit. Turnberry, considered one of the top Scottish courses, has seen its golf business decline. When it opened in 2012, Aberdeenshire was touted as a technically interesting and highly challenging course, but it has struggled to attract crowds. Milne says that over the last few years he’s found it so sleepy it rarely bothers him.

“To be quite honest, it’s not a major issue to me,” he says. “The car park is very rarely more than half full.”

The size of Trump’s wealth is a source of great debate, but two things are fairly well known—the period between 2006 and 2014 included some of his lowest points, financially speaking, and even in the best of times, the amount he splurged in Scotland would be a ton of cash for him to have on hand, let alone spend so freely. And Trump made these Scottish investments amid a $400 million cash spending spree, documented by the Washington Post , in which he also purchased a golf club in Ireland, five courses in the United States, and several pricy homes.

The New Yorker estimated that Trump would have spent half his available cash on the purchase of Turnberry alone, concluding there wasn’t “enough money coming into Trump’s known business to cover the massive outlay he spent” renovating the property.

And the mystery deepens. Martyn McLaughlin, a Glasgow-based reporter for the Scotsman newspaper, discovered that in 2008 Trump approached a Scottish bank asking for a $63 million loan to buy and renovate a historic hotel near Edinburgh, overlooking the final hole of St. Andrews, the most famous golf course in the world. The terms he proposed were so ludicrously favorable to him that bank executives concluded Trump was asking for a “free loan,” and doing business with the developer was “too risky.” Meanwhile, Trump was touting his “very strong” cash position and his representatives were telling the Scottish public that he had more than $1 billion available to spend in their country. (The Trump Organization did not respond to questions from Mother Jones .)

This February, a group of Scottish Parliament members began making the case that Scotland should use an investigative tool under UK law called an Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) to scrutinize Trump’s transactions. It can’t be wielded against just anyone; it’s designed to make inquiries into the finances of “politically exposed persons” suspected of money laundering. It has been invoked several times in London; for example, examining how the wife of a jailed ex–Azerbaijani government official had managed to afford a 16 million-pound shopping spree at Harrods.

Patrick Harvie, a Scottish Parliament member and co-leader of Scotland’s Green Party, has led the campaign for a UWO against Trump. “This is not someone who inspires confidence in sound finances and sound business,” he says. “The fact that there are many allegations floating around that the US authorities have investigated, whether it’s in relation to Russia or his political dealings domestically—you don’t have to sniff the air very long to see there’s something that smells.”

Harvie cited a report by Avaaz, a global nonprofit activist group, that has been key to the campaign. It highlights Trump’s assoc­iation with people scrutinized by US law enforcement for illicit financial transactions, including Paul Manafort, his campaign chair who was convicted of tax and bank fraud, and Michael Cohen, who was sent to prison for campaign finance crimes committed on Trump’s behalf.

“Without more information from Mr. Trump, there is reasonable doubt that his income during the time of Turnberry’s purchase and renovation would have been sufficient to cover all of these expenditures,” the report concludes.

McLaughlin puts it in simpler terms. “The abiding mystery is why Mr. Trump and his companies seem to relish in spending exorbitant amounts of money and losing exorbitant amounts of money here,” he says. “Given all the difficulties the Trump Organization has had, why is it so determined to throw more money at it?”

One theory is that Trump hoped to own a course that hosts a “major”—one of the top-tier professional golf tournaments each year. Turnberry used to regularly host the British Open, but it hasn’t since Trump took over. “He desperately wants a major. That was the big idea,” says sports writer Rick Reilly, who has golfed with Trump and in 2019 published the book Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump .

Indeed, the New York Times reported this summer that in 2018 Woody Johnson, a Trump donor who was appointed as US ambassador to the United Kingdom, told several colleagues that the president had asked him to make inquiries with the British government about steering the British Open to Turnberry. According to the Times, Johnson did raise the question with the Scottish secretary of state, against the advice of career diplomats; nothing came of it.

Reilly says Trump ruined any chance of getting the British Open with his racist and sexist conduct. “Of all the people in the world that aren’t going to put up with a fool, it’s the Scots,” he says. “They’re just such a no-nonsense people and they see him for what he is: He’s a big blowhard con man who is trying to tell them what they know isn’t true.”

Trump’s alleged entreaty to his UK ambassador is not the first time his administration has been accused of taking action to boost Turnberry’s lackluster business. Last year, Politico reported that Air Force flight crews stopping for overnight layovers in Scotland were being sent to Turnberry’s hotel—a luxury establishment close to an hour away from the airport—even though cheaper lodging was available nearby. The Air Force, which spent nearly $184,000 at Turnberry, denied any wrongdoing.

“Buying a place there would be like flying to Italy to go to an Olive Garden. Who would do that?”

If Trump’s Scottish ventures seemed ill-fated before, things are about to get much worse. In 2018, the most recent year for which numbers are available, both courses lost more than $15 million combined. And that was a good year. A golf industry expert familiar with Trump’s operations says he expects that 2020 revenues at Turnberry and Aberdeenshire will be down 80 to 90 percent from 2018.

Gordon Dalgleish, president of PerryGolf, which organizes golf tours for well-heeled clients in the British Isles, says the pandemic has brought Irish and Scottish golf tourism to a standstill. At many of the iconic Scottish courses, including Trump’s, “well north of 50 percent” of the patrons are wealthy Americans. “If you sat in the lobby at Turnberry, you’d hear a lot of American accents,” he says.

Not this year. In May, Scottish authorities allowed golf clubs to reopen, but under strict guidelines: Clubhouses were shuttered, caddies can work for golfers from just two households a day, and players are barred from congregating on the course before, during, or after play. But the far bigger impediment is that, as of July, the United Kingdom required international travelers to quarantine for two weeks. “It’s pretty hard to sell a one-week trip until there’s no quarantine,” Dalgleish notes.

Last fall, local authorities rejected Trump’s initial proposal to build a golf community at Turnberry, but in July, McLaughlin revealed that the Trump Organization had quietly drawn up plans for an even more ambitious expansion—one that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Meanwhile, Aberdeenshire officials have finally approved Trump’s plan to begin building a second course along with luxury homes and “five-star hotel cottages.” The cost, according to Trump, is almost $200 million.

Dubbed the Trump Estate, promotional materials show rows of quaint dwellings crowded along elaborately landscaped lanes. Homes range in price from about $370,000 for a two-bedroom cottage to $1.6 million for a five-bedroom mansion.

But with revenues so low, the money needed to complete the project—let alone a major development at Turnberry—may be hard for the Trumps to come by. McLaughlin also says he doesn’t understand how luxury homes in an out-of-the-way region of Scotland, known for blustery North Sea winds and offshore oil, make sense.

“Quite how they’ll have a viable business scheme out of that, I’m not sure,” he says. “Who pays hundreds of thousands of pounds for a family villa in the northeast of Scotland that’s got the corrosive brand of Trump attached to it?”

Reilly agrees. “Buying a place there would be like flying to Italy to go to an Olive Garden,” he says. “It’s insane. Who would do that?”

McLaughlin says that at an open house for prospective buyers last winter, the interested parties seemed mostly foreign. “Which raises the question, Who is investing? Who is giving money to the president’s company? It’s the most explicit opportunity to put money into the Trump Organization in return for property.”

Of course, if Trump’s finances continue to suffer, he may have to offload the courses before he builds a single villa. “He’ll have to. It’s a matter of when,” says the golf industry expert. “He doesn’t have the cash flow.”

David Milne says he hasn’t heard from the Trumps in years. But one early evening 11 years ago, at the height of the planning battle over Aberdeenshire, Milne says he heard a knock at his door. He opened it to find Donald Trump Jr. and then–Trump Organization executive George Sorial. They had visited before, Milne says. “They quite often showed up and tried to discuss something. Usually they were told to go away. None of them have ever been over the doorstep.”

That evening, they weren’t there for a discussion; just to deliver a message—or, as Milne understood it, a threat. “Remember, whatever you say and whatever you do, we usually get what we want,” Milne recalled being told.

“Not this time,” he responded.



Trump’s argument: Look how awful things are — now reelect me

President Trump has this bizarre notion that if he can show how chaotic, dysfunctional and dangerous things have become, Americans will reelect him. He sent federal law enforcement into Portland, Ore., seemingly with the purpose of stoking violent confrontations with protesters that could be used to create ad footage for his campaign . He is the only thing standing between you and carnage! Well, except that he caused it. This is on his watch. It is evidence of his inability to maintain order.

If there are assaults on federal property (statues, for example), if the president is forced to retreat to a bunker and if certain crimes have increased in locations around the country, then one has to ask how Trump took a peaceful country with declining crime rates and turned it (in his own telling) into a dystopian nightmare. Law-and-order presidents (or as Trump likes to tweet, LAW & ORDER!) do not preside over crime and disorder. His handiwork is proof that we need someone new.

So it is with the U.S. Postal Service. Trump has been attempting to discredit voting by mail and, to that end, seems intent on wrecking the most popular federal agency. In doing so, he sows fear in voters (especially his own) about casting ballots by mail. But recent mail slowdowns caused by policies enacted by the new USPS head — a major Trump donor — can mean disrupted delivery of medicine to veterans and millions who receive prescriptions by mail, unemployment checks to laid-off workers and Social Security checks to retirees. U.S. business owners are not pleased when their invoices do not reach customers and when their customers’ payments are delayed. The bipartisan outcry suggests blowing up the agency that Trump is ultimately responsible for running is not a winning strategy. (His criticism of the USPS as a money-loser is downright strange: Government agencies providing vital services to Americans are not-for-profit operations.)

The presidential sabotaging of the USPS — the one federal agency that touches the lives of virtually every American — fits Trump’s unique ability to wreak havoc on his fellow Americans. The pandemic that exploded and the economy that collapsed on his watch, and a revolt against racial injustice unlike any since the 1960s, provide the rationale for kicking out the incumbent president. Many schools are closed, and civic life has ground to a halt. Through incompetence or deliberate destructiveness, Trump has obliterated the case for giving him four more years. What will be left of America after four more years of Trump-induced devastation?

In this regard, the Republican Senate is equally deserving of blame for the unraveling economy and societal chaos. It refuses, over the objections of the Federal Reserve, business leaders, economists and voters, to pass a meaningful stimulus bill (which would include money for testing and tracing to fight the coronavirus, money to reopen schools safely or conduct virtual classrooms, $25 billion for the USPS and an economic lifeline to tens of millions of unemployed Americans).

When you hold the reins of government, you are tasked with its smooth running and navigation around obstacles. Trump has dropped the reins, jumped from the saddle and shot the crippled steed. He can holler that the vote this fall will be fixed, but responsibility for the path of destruction leading to November is obvious.


“Well, if QAnon likes me…I heard these are people who love our country.”

Always returns to self, no matter what.



Oh dear! He will not be liking Facebook and Instagram much then will he after this announcement

How Sad! Never Mind.


This is so despicable…and just like T, he’s going to go with it, because it helps him.

QAnon is difficult to summarize because it is often tailored to the beliefs of the individual adherent. It centers on the idea that an anonymous actor within the Trump administration, identified as Q, shares updates and information about a secret government effort to uproot an international ring of child abusers and sex traffickers. It puts President Trump at the helm of that purported effort, pitting him against an extensive cabal of celebrities and government officials who engage in abuse or seek to protect the abusers.

It is an obviously false theory, and Q’s prognostications have been repeatedly debunked. But given the way in which it puts a primacy on self-education, it has spawned tens of thousands of do-it-yourself private investigators cobbling together allegations like characters from “A Beautiful Mind.”

Only recently, as reports have pegged the number of adherents, casual or otherwise, in the millions, has Trump been directly asked about the movement. It’s a tricky proposition. Any sign of tacit encouragement from Trump would probably serve only to legitimize QAnon’s belief system. Asked about it last week, he declined to reject the theory or its adherents, which journalists who track the group saw as likely to encourage their confidence in their theories.

On Wednesday, he went further.

“During the pandemic,” a reporter asked during a briefing at the White House, “the QAnon movement appears to be gaining a lot of followers. Can you talk about that and what you have to say to people who are following this movement right now?”

“Well, I don’t know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” Trump replied. “But I don’t know much about the movement.

That, of course, is the central concern for Trump. With the election looming and his strategy focused on maximizing turnout from his base, Trump’s reelection campaign has quietly given space to the theory’s adherents, understanding that they overlap with his supporters. This was the first time he had been explicit about his motivation, though: They get a pass at least in part because they stand by him.

“I have heard that it is gaining in popularity,” he continued. “And from what I hear is, these are people that when they watch the streets of Portland, when they watch what happened in New York City in just the last six or seven months … that these are people that don’t like seeing what’s going on in places like Portland and places like Chicago and New York and other cities and states.”

“And I’ve heard these are people that love our country and they just don’t like seeing it,” Trump said. “So I don’t know really anything about it other than they do supposedly like me.”

He again came back to his assertion that QAnon supporters were focused on street violence in cities with Democratic mayors.

This isn’t true. So the reporter pressed him on the specifics of what many QAnon adherents believe.

The theory is this belief that you are secretly saving the world from this satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals,” she said. “Does that sound like something you are behind?

“I haven’t — I haven’t heard that,” Trump said. “But is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing?”

There was surprised laughter in the room.

I mean, you know, if I can help save the world from problems, I’m willing to do it,” he continued. “I’m willing to put myself out there. And we are actually. We’re saving the world from a radical left philosophy that will destroy this country. And when this country is gone, the rest of the world would follow. The rest of the world would follow.”

Again, this isn’t a lark. The spread of QAnon is seen by federal law enforcement as a threat to the public. There are obvious cases in which QAnon is used by disturbed individuals as a rationale for their actions, as in the murder of a reputed Mob boss on Staten Island last year. This is the central concern, that fostering a belief that there exists a particularly evil group — its members defined by individual observers — will lead to some of those observers taking steps to confront the presumed evil. That some QAnon adherent will decide that some other person is part of the cabal Q is discussing. That is allegedly what happened on Staten Island.

Trump could have said that the theory was obviously not true and itself stood as a danger. He could have fervently denied that he or anyone in his administration was involved in any action like that Q describes. He could have indicated that his government was taking steps to contain the theory. But he didn’t. QAnon adherents like him and, hey, what’s wrong with being seen as a guy who wants to take on satanic pedophiles?

Trump tried multiple times to frame QAnon as overlapping with his (itself heavily exaggerated) war on antifa. Perhaps this seems like a clever bit of political judo. If that’s the idea, it’s a significant misread on both the QAnon ecosystem and the risk posed by giving it oxygen.

Hard to overstate how obsessed QAnon believers have been with Trump getting asked about Q and not disavowing them. I got Secret Service docs on a believer who told Matt Gaetz’s baffled staff that she was willing to pose as a journalist to infiltrate the WH and ask the question.

— Will Sommer (@willsommer) August 19, 2020

Sure enough, some QAnon groups quickly saw Trump’s comments as validation, an entirely predictable outcome. The fear is that such an interpretation might then lead to adherents interpreting Trump’s words as authorization to take the fight into their own hands.



Whenever I read a profile about T, I am always floored by his narrow perspective of “What’s best for Donald Trump.” He has so little perspective beyond his own needs, despite the heavy criticism he gets for all his blunders, and manipulative tactics - bullying, staying aggrieved, and aligning only with who can give him more money or power.

It is a harsh reality to see him for what he is…despite the spun stories he works so feverishly to reconstruct and maintain, all with the crippling pandemic and the horrible civil strife.

He is incurious, lazy minded and he has had few ideas about what being President might have been, only happy to be clapped for and lives for constant adulation.

After nearly four years in office, Mr. Trump heads into the fall campaign with a striking blend of braggadocio and grievance, a man of extremes who claims one moment to have accomplished more than virtually any other president even as he complains moments later that he has also suffered more than any of them. He inhabits a world of his own making, sometimes untethered from those recognized by others. He has imposed his will on Washington and the world like no one else.

While previous presidents evolved in office as they learned the mechanisms of power and adjusted their goals by the time they claimed renomination, Mr. Trump remains the same polarizing, dominating force of nature who got up four years ago and asserted that “I alone can fix it.” He has not tempered with age nor bent to convention nor been chastened by impeachment. He says he still considers himself “an outsider” even while occupying the highest office in the land.

In the course of a 40-minute telephone call on Wednesday, Mr. Trump struggled to describe how he has changed in office. “I think I’ve just become more guarded than I was four years ago,” he offered, a curious notion for the least-guarded man to sit in the Oval Office in a lifetime. “I think I really am a little bit more circumspect.”

By that he seemed to mean that he had hardened after the many investigations and political attacks that have characterized his presidency. But he is not one for introspection. How would he be different in a second term? Really not much at all. “I think I’d be similar,” he said. Which is exactly what his supporters want and his opponents fear.

n the interview, Mr. Trump rattled off a list of what he has done and would continue, like increasing military spending, cutting taxes, eliminating regulations, reinforcing the border and appointing conservative judges.

“But so I think, I think it would be, I think it would be very, very, I think we’d have a very, very solid, we would continue what we’re doing, we’d solidify what we’ve done and we have other things on our plate that we want to get done,” he said.

If he does win, his agenda to a significant degree may be set by external forces. He faces three overlapping crises buffeting the United States — the pandemic that still kills roughly 1,000 people every day, the resulting economic slowdown that idled another one million people just last week and the unrest touched off by a string of police shootings of Black Americans, most recently in Kenosha, Wis.

Mr. Trump has all but put the pandemic behind him while arguing that he is best suited to rebuild the economy. In responding to the debate over racial justice, he has characteristically sought confrontation rather than calm, disparaging the Black Lives Matter movement, blaming street violence on what he calls radical Democrats and presenting himself as a stalwart defender of the police.

Four years after his against-the-odds victory, he has claimed the nomination as the undisputed master of a party whose establishment did not want him. Those who stood against him have since been purged or have departed or have defected to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic presidential nominee. It has given Mr. Trump a unified convention and a party remade in his image to the delight of supporters who see him as their champion against an entitled, politically correct elite.

He’s going to be accepting the nomination as somebody who previously was an outsider doing a hostile takeover of the party,” Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser, said last week in an interview. “He’s still an outsider, but he’s built a band of outsiders with him. The hostile takeover he started four years ago is now complete.”

The hostile takeover may be over, but the hostility is not. Mr. Trump hardly goes a day without getting into a battle on Twitter or on camera with some perceived foe. While many see him as the instigator, he sees himself as the victim.

He arrived at the White House in January 2017 as the first president never to have served a day in political office or the military and had little time for business as usual, or even the traditions and laws that bind a commander in chief. After a lifetime as a smash-mouth celebrity, he became a smash-mouth president. At 74, he turns to the same litany of political tactics he always has, just as he relies on the same vocabulary over and over (“tremendous,” “incredible,” “nasty,” “believe me,” “winning,” “loser,” “disgusting,” “disgrace”).

Mr. Trump’s advisers said his refusal to bow to the Washington establishment distinguishes him from the rest of the political class. “If you think about it, Washington usually absorbs people,” Mr. Kushner said. “They come to town and they go to the cocktail parties and they go to the donor circles. Trump is one of the few people who hasn’t changed.”

Instead of trying to change to get along with people,” Mr. Kushner added, “he’s doubled and tripled down on the promises that he’s made and I think he has more conviction. There’s not a single policy where you have a question about where he stands.”

Mr. Trump has refused to adapt to the office, forcing it to adapt to him. When he took over, he started his day in the Oval Office around 9 a.m., but then complained to aides that he was working 12-hour days and “this is way too much.” Schedulers changed the routine so his first meeting in the Oval Office rarely starts before 11 a.m., letting him watch television and make calls from the residence in the morning.

His staff grows frustrated when he sometimes does not show up until 11:30 a.m. or even later. But he has little respect for the schedule, turning a 15-minute meeting into a 45-minute session. When he has had enough, he bangs his hands on his desk twice with open palms to signal that a meeting is over.

His free-form style leaves aides scrambling. While phone calls with previous presidents were highly orchestrated affairs, Mr. Trump loves nothing more than to spontaneously call friends, lawmakers or people he just saw on Fox News.

in the interview, Mr. Trump complained that the tapes were released just as he was presiding over a funeral for his brother, Robert S. Trump, but otherwise did not respond to his sister’s criticism. “That was a very sad, it’s a sad moment,” he said. “Hey, it is what it is.”

But Mr. Trump rejected the portrayal of him as a lazy, television-obsessed president. “Just the opposite,” he said. “I don’t watch very much TV. Nobody knows what I do.” He said, “I work very long hours, actually, very long hours, probably longer than just about anybody. And I think more importantly, I think I work effectively.”

His own circuitous train of thought, though, sometimes ends up taking his listeners on unpredictable journeys. When asked at first about the aides’ criticism, he wandered into a discussion of the convention audience (“I looked at the Fox ratings”) and resentment at attacks on his response to the virus (“we haven’t been treated properly on that”).

He has no second thoughts about the most critical decisions of his presidency. The pandemic was the fault of China. If he had it to do over again, he said, he would have ensured the country had more medical gear stockpiled but he offered no regrets for playing down the virus and insisted that his push to reopen society last spring was the right one despite the cascade of death that followed. “I think it was a good decision because look at how our economy is going up,” Mr. Trump said.

His worst moments since taking office, he said, were the day he was impeached, unfairly in his mind, and the night that Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, cast the key vote dooming a Republican effort to revoke President Barack Obama’s health care program. He acknowledged at the time that the job was harder than he had expected.

Now he says it is harder because of the attacks he endures. “It’s harder because I’ve had two jobs,” he said — being president and “I have to also constantly defend myself from a group of maniacs that are totally, that have, you know, that have gone totally off the tracks.

Given that, did he ever think about not running for a second term? “I never even considered that,” he said. He said he is ready for four more years. “I feel good. I think I feel better than I did four years ago.”


Once a scammer, always a scammer…

This tape shows Trump in the wild, trying to figure out how to contend with a judge who he believed was not on his side (perhaps with the use of a racist attack), bragging about pressuring a group that had given his business a low rating, and grousing that he was being held personally responsible for a Trump enterprise accused of scamming people.


So, as per usual, he followed the southern view of power: having power means getting to ignore the law and do what you want.


Rival Themes Emerge as Race Enters Final Weeks: Covid vs. Law and Order

##The national political conventions over the last two weeks set the battle lines for the election’s remaining weeks. Joe Biden is focusing on President Trump’s virus management, while the president is hammering a law-and-order message.

As a weeklong Republican offensive against Joseph R. Biden Jr. ends, the Democratic nominee plans to resume campaigning in swing states and has released a multimillion dollar barrage of ads attacking President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus.

The moves come as the presidential campaign barrels into the critical last 10 weeks. They represent a bet by Mr. Biden that a focus on Covid-19 will prevail over Mr. Trump’s “law and order” emphasis and his attempt to portray Mr. Biden as a tool of the “radical left.” Mr. Biden’s ads also celebrate the history of peaceful protests.

Mr. Biden’s team on Friday made clear that they were determined to prevent Mr. Trump from framing the debate over the violent unrest in some cities and would aggressively move to prevent the president’s narrative from taking hold.

“We’re certainly not going to let it go unaddressed,” said Representative Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, who is a chairman of Mr. Biden’s campaign. “I think Americans know it’s false, and we’re going to just have to make sure that they know what our position is.”

Aides to Mr. Trump said on Friday that their line of attack would not change. They plan to repeatedly highlight Mr. Trump’s familiar “law and order” message, and are blunt in their assessment that they will benefit politically from violence erupting at some protests.

Mr. Biden has accused Mr. Trump of “rooting for more violence,” and his advisers said they would push that argument, as Mr. Biden continues to offer his support for peaceful protesters of racial injustice and police brutality.

The national political conventions over the last two weeks set the battle lines for the remaining stretch of the election. Mr. Trump and his allies spent four nights hammering Mr. Biden with misleading and often false claims about his record on fighting crime and support of the police.

Mr. Biden, by contrast, has charged Mr. Trump with a failure of leadership, particularly regarding his handling of the pandemic, for which Americans give the president low marks. The question of which argument feels more urgent to the American people is likely to play a critical role in determining the outcome in November.

Mr. Trump continued his blistering attacks Friday night at a campaign stop in a New Hampshire airport hangar, calling Mr. Biden “the worst candidate” in American history and a friend of “the left-wing mob” that is “marauding through our cities.” Over the weekend, Mr. Trump was set to tour hurricane damage in the South, and Vice President Mike Pence was to campaign in Pennsylvania on Tuesday.

Trump officials said they also planned to have two surrogate bus tours running at all times. The buses — one featuring “Women for Trump” and the other titled “Team Trump on Tour” — were in the Las Vegas area and in Colorado on Friday, where they made stops at field offices and invited local media.

There is a broad consensus in the Biden camp that the election is likely to be won or lost primarily on the subject of leadership on the virus, rather than wedge issues. The death count has now surpassed more than 180,000 Americans, a fact the Republicans largely glossed over this week but that Mr. Biden is making a centerpiece of his campaign. Millions of Americans remain out of work, with many businesses across the nation shuttered, though Mr. Trump emphasized the economic growth pre-virus in his speech Thursday.

Mr. Trump and Republicans also focused on social unrest and the protests against police brutality in Kenosha, Wis., suggesting that the incidents of violence there show the kind of breakdown in order that would proliferate under a Biden presidency. They asserted falsely that Mr. Biden supports defunding the police.

Mr. Biden this week both denounced systemic racism and also expressed his opposition to demonstrations that turned destructive. The developments in Kenosha, after a white police officer repeatedly shot a Black man, Jacob Blake, prompted him to immediately consult allies about the events and discuss how he should address them.

The issue of crime and social disorder is not being taken lightly, Democrats in touch with the Biden campaign said, and they expected Mr. Biden to seize more opportunities in the coming days to emphasize that he makes no excuses for the outbursts in some cities where peaceful protests have soured into scenes of violence. In one sign of the potential potency of the issue, Mr. Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, was asked Friday at a fund-raiser about responding to Republicans’ “preying on legitimate fears to lie about defunding police, destroying suburbs.”

In an interview with MSNBC on Thursday Mr. Biden did not rule out a visit to Wisconsin. Some Democrats in the state said they would like to see him visit if health considerations allow.

“It would be great to have a calming influence here, but understand we’re in the middle of a health care pandemic,” Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee said.

He praised Mr. Biden for being in touch with the family of Mr. Blake, and noted Mr. Biden’s condemnation of “destroying property and taking away people’s livelihoods.”

“He certainly can do more, but I think he has stepped up,” said Mr. Barrett, who has consistently urged Mr. Biden to be more active in Wisconsin. “There’s always more that can be done. It is such a hot issue now.”

Some Democrats believe that Mr. Trump can no longer win the election, but still worry Mr. Biden can lose it. Tad Devine, a longtime Democratic consultant, cited polls that show over 50 percent of voters saying they will not vote for the incumbent.

“I don’t see a path for someone who’s in that situation,” said Mr. Devine. But, he added that Mr. Biden’s campaign would be wise to “just keep it steady, not overexpose him” and focus on what could be the last major element of this election: the three debates.

Mr. Biden is expected to step up his television appearances over the next week and return to the campaign trail in a more robust fashion after Labor Day. At a fund-raiser on Thursday, he said he intended to visit states including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Arizona.

Mr. Trump’s campaign aides are projecting an aggressive campaign schedule more typical of a normal election cycle than one taking place during a pandemic. For Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence, that will play out in the upper Midwest, Nevada, North Carolina and Florida.

The travel follows a Republican convention that was hastily assembled but resulted in the kind of visuals the president likes, aides said, describing it as one of the few times in recent weeks he has been upbeat about an election he fears he is losing. It was put together by a group including longtime Trump adviser Tony Sayegh; the deputy campaign manager for presidential operations, Max Miller; and Justin Caporale, the director of advance operations for the president and Mr. Pence.

Mr. Trump’s aides said he enjoyed the frustration and anger he caused by holding a political event on the South Lawn of the White House, shattering conventional norms and raising questions about ethics law violations. He relished the fact that no one could do anything to stop him, said the aides, who spoke anonymously to discuss internal conversations.

Mr. Biden, for his part, appears to remain convinced that the antidote to Mr. Trump’s divisive strategy is his own rhetoric of national unity and reconciliation — that the best counter to Mr. Trump’s vow to crush what he describes as a dangerous mob is the argument that Mr. Trump cannot put out a fire that he started.

“Donald Trump has anchored his case for re-election on ignoring the pandemic that he’s allowed to spin out of control and bizarrely highlighting violence and discord happening on his own watch — and that he himself has inflamed,” said Andrew Bates, a Biden spokesman.

The Biden campaign mounted an aggressive advertising campaign throughout the R.N.C., spending $8.4 million on ads in key battleground states over the past seven days, according to Advertising Analytics, and $6 million on Facebook.

The majority of their television advertising message was still focused on the Trump administration’s failure to manage the coronavirus. But in a $2 million buy on Thursday night, the campaign ran a two-minute ad on every major national network and Fox News offering one indication of how it intends to counter the Republican talking points: by celebrating the results of protest movements and civil rights battles of the past as a link to the present.

Democrats view Mr. Trump’s law-and-order onslaught as a battering ram aimed at the votes of white women, particularly those without a college degree. Mr. Trump carried that group by 27 percentage points against Hillary Clinton in 2016, but he has held a substantially smaller advantage against Mr. Biden in public and private polling.

The concern among Biden allies is that some fraction of white voters could be persuaded to cast reluctant ballots for Mr. Trump if they become primarily focused on fears about their personal safety.

There is some polling evidence that Mr. Trump has a slight upper hand when it comes to confronting crime. Thirty-two percent of the country said they thought they would be less safe from crime under a Biden administration, compared to 25 percent who thought they’d be more safe, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll from earlier this month. But 41 percent said that it wouldn’t make much difference who was president.

Suburban white people, a top Trump target, were particularly likely to say Mr. Biden would make them less safe from crime, not more — by a 20-point margin, the poll showed.

Still, when it comes to the protests, most voters dislike how Mr. Trump has responded — suburbanites especially. An ABC News/Ipsos poll last month found that just 36 percent of the country approved of how Mr. Trump was handling the protests.

“For the general public, a protest, marching, peacefully protesting, is not an issue,” said Mayor Shawn Reilly of Waukesha, Wis., outside Milwaukee. “There’s a lot of fear of it going bad, though.”

Maggie Haberman, Jonathan Martin, Thomas Kaplan, Nick Corasaniti and Giovanni Russonello contributed reporting.