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👑 Portrait of a President

If either of these are true… wow.

Trump offered FBI director job to John Kelly, asked for loyalty

Trump refused to give Gen. Kelly director of the FBI position because he said he’d ‘be loyal to the Constitution’

Mike Pence was ‘on standby to take over’ as Trump made unexpected visit to Walter Reed hospital: report

How Has Donald Trump Survived?

When a Republican-led Senate committee issued a nearly 1,000-page report in mid-August that detailed the prodigious extent of the contacts between Russian officials and members of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign team, it felt a bit like a dispatch from a vaguely familiar reality — a prepandemic realm when we could mostly agree to focus on foreign interference in American democracy, and when the Trump presidency felt as if it were hanging in the balance while it awaited word from Robert S. Mueller III. This is the world that forged Michael S. Schmidt’s “Donald Trump v. the United States.” It vividly resurrects that actually-not-so-distant era by unspooling the occasionally staggering stories of two administration figures who were central to the investigative sagas that dominated the early Trump years, largely thanks to their attempts to constrain him.

The subjects are both all too familiar and, Schmidt implies, underappreciated in their significance in shaping Trump’s presidency. Schmidt recounts with unsparing intimacy James Comey’s arc from the 2016 election to his 2017 firing from the F.B.I. directorship, and he documents the relentlessly uncomfortable White House tenure of the former general counsel Donald F. McGahn II, who, he points out, “was in charge of Trump’s greatest political accomplishment, and he found himself caught up as the chief witness against Trump.” The result is a revelatory portrait of the events that led to the investigation of Trump for obstruction of justice, and his repeated attempts to control the Department of Justice. It is not about the alleged collusion with Moscow, and in fact Schmidt reports that Mueller’s investigators “never undertook a significant examination of Trump’s personal and business ties to Russia,” largely thanks to the deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein’s intervention.

Schmidt, a New York Times correspondent in Washington who was part of two teams that won Pulitzer Prizes in 2018, including one for coverage of Trump’s Russian-inflected scandals, portrays an administration in which all aides may as well always have a resignation letter ready as a safeguard against an angry, flailing president detached from commonly accepted reality. This is a meticulously reported volume that clearly benefits from the author’s extraordinary access to many of the relevant characters, but also from his subjects’ tendency to record, in detail, their time around Trump.

Whereas recent years have been packed with high-impact reported books about Trump’s erratic behavior and his administration’s backbiting — Bob Woodward’s “Fear,” Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig’s “A Very Stable Genius” and Jonathan Karl’s “Front Row at the Trump Show” come to mind — “Donald Trump v. the United States” is more closely tailored to the efforts to rein Trump in. As such, it may be unlikely to become a go-to for general conclusions about Trump’s character. But it adds significantly to the public understanding of the Mueller investigation and Trump’s war against it.

The narrative is sometimes cinematic. It opens with Schmidt chasing down McGahn outside the White House’s front gates and eventually getting him to concede, “I damaged the office of the president; I damaged the office .” It’s a breathtakingly revealing admission from the White House’s chief lawyer and the architect of Trump’s effort to appoint as many conservative judges as possible. (Schmidt says, “I thought he was still understating the gravity of what he had done.”)

McGahn, a staunch libertarian, was frequently in over his head with the lawless president he nicknamed “King Kong,” and he struggled with his highly unusual extended contact with Mueller’s team. Still, despite getting close to resigning, McGahn stuck around far longer than his apparent misery and frequent attempts at principled stands would suggest, largely because of his judicial project’s success. It was only after Trump granted a woman clemency at Kim Kardashian’s request that McGahn knew he truly had to leave the White House. He could no longer abide the accumulation of Trump’s actions.

Then, in the annals of unsustainable relationships with Trump, there’s James Comey. His early interactions with the president, like the one-on-one dinner at which Trump requested Comey’s loyalty, have been described repeatedly. But in Schmidt’s granular telling, the relationship was especially agonizing because of a fundamental disconnect between the two men.

Comey was always deeply interested in maintaining his and his agency’s public credibility — especially after his wildly controversial intrusions into the 2016 campaign over Hillary Clinton’s emails. After he was fired by Trump, he text-messaged a friend: “I’m with my peeps (former peeps). They are broken up and I’m sitting with them like a wake. Trying to figure out how to get back home. May hitchhike.” It’s just one example of the clearly extensive access Schmidt had to Comey and his wife.

“Donald Trump v. the United States” is full of gritty details about what it’s like for a plugged-in journalist to report on Trump’s intrigue, ranging from the time Schmidt shepherded a valued source to and from the airport, to his learning, secondhand, about a Justice Department official soliciting dirt on Comey at a Cinco de Mayo party. At one point, Schmidt writes, he shattered his cellphone and didn’t fix it for a week because there was too much news; he ended up with pieces of glass in his hands.

More interesting, however, is the constant flow of shocking anecdotes: Schmidt writes that Mitch McConnell fell asleep during a classified briefing on Russia, for example, and he details the F.B.I.’s shambolic reaction to evidence of the hacking in 2016, including an unresolved disagreement over how to handle the material. Describing Trump’s unexpected November 2019 visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he reports the White House wanted Mike Pence “on standby to take over the powers of the presidency temporarily if Trump had to undergo a procedure that would have required him to be anesthetized.” (The vice president never had to take this step.)

For all its revelations, this is not an inside look at Mueller’s investigation itself, and over half of Schmidt’s story goes by before Mueller is even appointed. At times, too, it wanders from the obstruction fights at its heart. Still, if the furor around the investigations into Trump’s last campaign feels like ancient history as the nation faces a pandemic, a civil rights reckoning and another election, “Donald Trump v. the United States” nevertheless offers one more startling dissection of the Trump presidency. Ultimately this book about “the struggle to stop a president” is, in many ways, a tale of how he survived.


Trump Defends Kenosha Shooting Suspect

President Trump on Monday declined to condemn the actions of the suspected 17-year-old shooter of three protesters against police brutality in Kenosha, Wis., claiming, without evidence, that it appeared the gunman was acting in self defense.

Kyle Rittenhouse has been charged with six criminal counts, including first-degree intentional homicide, for the shooting last week that left two protesters dead and a third injured. An investigation is ongoing, which the president also acknowledged.

The incident occurred during the third night of unrest following the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake, who was shot in the back multiple times at point-blank range.

I bet he would have defended Dylan Roof too. :unamused:





Trump’s ‘plane loaded with thugs’ conspiracy theory matches months-old rumor

The claim about the flight matches a viral Facebook post from June 1 that falsely claimed, “At least a dozen males got off the plane in Boise from Seattle, dressed head to toe in black.” The post, by an Emmett, Idaho, man, warned residents to “Be ready for attacks downtown and residential areas,” and claimed one passenger had “a tattoo that said Antifa America on his arm.”

That post was shared over 3,000 times on Facebook, and other pages from Idaho quickly added their own spin to it, like the Idaho branch of the far-right militia group 3 Percenters.

One post claimed that “Antifa has sent a plane load of their people” and that the Payette County Sheriff’s Office confirmed it. Within days, that version of the rumor picked up enough steam in Idaho Facebook groups that the Payette County Sheriff’s Office had to release a statement insisting that the viral rumor was “false information.”

Original factcheck from June :point_down:


And of course this all leads back to the widespread conspiracy theory that accuses left-wing philanthropists like George Soros of paying protesters and agitators to incite riots.

Just look at this recent blog post by a person who doesn’t understand satire:


T is always projecting…hiding behind denials.

So there it is…the Nov visit to Walter Reed Hospital



This came out today…yes, he’s Unfit - in far too many ways. Takes the Malignant Narcissist profile and profiles all T’s attributes.


Trump told Sarah Sanders to ‘take one for the team’ after Kim Jong-un wink

Donald Trump told Sarah Sanders she would have to “go to North Korea and take one for the team”, after Kim Jong-un winked at the then White House press secretary during a summit in Singapore in June 2018.

“Kim Jong-un hit on you!” a delighted Trump joked, according to Sanders’ new memoir. “He did! He fucking hit on you!”


So… the president of the United States tried to pimp out his press secretary to a murderous dictator to curry favor. Wow.


More evidence of Trump’s subservience to Putin — and we still don’t know why

Former prime minister Theresa May’s chief of staff just described to a British newspaper how President Trump exploded in anger when he heard, during a 2017 meeting with May, that Russian President Vladimir Putin had requested a call with him that had not been completed. The president reportedly shouted at his national security adviser: “If Putin wants a call with me you just put him through!”

What is it with Trump and Russia? Why is the “America first” president so eager to cater to the anti-American dictator of Russia? That is the central mystery of the Trump administration. Almost every day, there are fresh signs of Trump’s subservience to Putin.

Trump still hasn’t upbraided Putin over reports that a Russian intelligence unit placed bounties on the heads of U.S. troops in Afghanistan — even though the White House had known about the purported payments for many months before the New York Times broke the news on June 26. Trump admitted to Jonathan Swan of Axios that he didn’t even mention the issue in one of his regular phone calls with Putin. (A source told CNN that the congenial Putin-Trump conversations sound like “two guys in a steam bath.”)

Nor has Trump had anything to say about reports that last week a Russian armored vehicle in Syria rammed a U.S. armored vehicle, injuring seven U.S. soldiers. You would think a president who lauds himself as a champion of “our incredible Military” would at least rhetorically defend U.S. troops. But, while Trump focused on the supposed menace of China in his convention speech, he was entirely silent about Russia.

The Republican convention also featured Trump boasting about his efforts to free U.S. hostages held overseas. Well, Putin has imprisoned two former Marines — Paul Whelan received a 16-year prison sentence in June on charges of espionage, and Trevor Reed received a nine-year sentence in July on charges of assaulting two police officers. Their family members say the cases are fraudulent and politically motivated. The U.S. ambassador to Moscow is protesting — but Trump stays silent. “Our Veterans risked everything for us,” Trump tweeted last year. “Now, it is our duty to serve and protect THEM every day of our lives!” Yet Trump appears to be prioritizing his relationship with Putin over his duty to protect these two veterans.

By now we all accept that Trump won’t say or do anything about Putin’s attacks on our democracy. The Russian interference may well have changed the outcome in 2016, and the Senate Intelligence Committee has just released fresh details about the extent to which the Trump campaign welcomed, and relied on, Russian help. The bipartisan report noted, for example, that Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was in regular contact with a Russian intelligence officer, while Trump’s friend Roger Stone was in regular contact with WikiLeaks, a conduit for Russian disinformation. If this isn’t collusion, the term has no meaning.

Now the Russians are interfering again — “the warning lights are flashing red,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote in a Post op-ed. Far from trying to protect America, Trump is amplifying Russia’s anti-Biden disinformation while trying to muzzle the intelligence community. Over the weekend, John Ratcliffe, the Trump loyalist who has been installed as director of national intelligence, informed Congress that the intelligence community would no longer provide oral briefings on foreign election interference. That will make it easier for Ratcliffe to stop career intelligence officers from revealing the extent of Russian efforts to reelect Trump. Trump might as well be extending another direct invitation to Putin to subvert our democracy: “Russia, if you’re listening….”

What accounts for Trump’s proclivity for Putin? Is it just part of Trump’s general admiration for dictators — or is there something more sinister going on?

The Senate Intelligence Committee offered some provocative new nuggets, including suggestions that Trump might have engaged in dalliances with Russian women during visits to Moscow that left him open to blackmail. This is the first confirmation from any branch of the U.S. government that rumors of Russian kompromat on Trump — a central feature of the infamous Steele Dossier — may have some basis in fact.

There have also been widespread reports that the Trump Organization has been dependent on Russian money. (Eric Trump in 2014: “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”) But the Intelligence Committee had no access to Trump’s closely guarded finances, so it could offer no insights on his financial ties to Russia.

Many observers expected that former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III would unravel this mystery, but he didn’t. Now we know why: Michael Schmidt of the New York Times reports that former deputy attorney general Rod J. Rosenstein prevented “investigators from completing an examination of President Trump’s decades-long personal and business ties to Russia.”

This is a stunning dereliction of duty by Rosenstein. The upshot is that what might be the biggest scandal in American political history remains maddeningly mysterious. Trump continues to cater to Putin — and we still don’t know why. All we can say for sure is that Trump consistently puts America’s interests last.


Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’

Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

Belleau Wood is a consequential battle in American history, and the ground on which it was fought is venerated by the Marine Corps. America and its allies stopped the German advance toward Paris there in the spring of 1918. But Trump, on that same trip, asked aides, “Who were the good guys in this war?” He also said that he didn’t understand why the United States would intervene on the side of the Allies.

The President of the United States of America calls fallen WWI warriors, losers and suckers for getting killed plus more. He’s so awful.


T and memorializing Vets - Example and there are so many of T taking steps to protect his own needs (his hair was going to be disheveled in rain) and denigrating others who were war heroes and did stand patriotically for their country, but defending it with their life.

Everything we know about T’s ability to denigrate, bully and degrade others to make himself look better. Obscene…

Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.

When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.

Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

Belleau Wood is a consequential battle in American history, and the ground on which it was fought is venerated by the Marine Corps. America and its allies stopped the German advance toward Paris there in the spring of 1918. But Trump, on that same trip, asked aides, “Who were the good guys in this war?” He also said that he didn’t understand why the United States would intervene on the side of the Allies.

Trump’s understanding of concepts such as patriotism, service, and sacrifice have interested me since he expressed contempt for the war record of the late Senator John McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said in 2015 while running for the Republican nomination for president. “I like people who weren’t captured.”

There was no precedent in American politics for the expression of this sort of contempt, but the performatively patriotic Trump did no damage to his candidacy by attacking McCain in this manner. Nor did he set his campaign back by attacking the parents of Humayun Khan, an Army captain who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

Trump remained fixated on McCain, one of the few prominent Republicans to continue criticizing him after he won the nomination. When McCain died, in August 2018, Trump told his senior staff, according to three sources with direct knowledge of this event, “We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral,” and he became furious, according to witnesses, when he saw flags lowered to half-staff. “What the fuck are we doing that for? Guy was a fucking loser,” the president told aides. Trump was not invited to McCain’s funeral. (These sources, and others quoted in this article, spoke on condition of anonymity. White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany did not respond to email and telephone requests for comment.)

Trump’s understanding of heroism has not evolved since he became president. According to sources with knowledge of the president’s views, he seems to genuinely not understand why Americans treat former prisoners of war with respect. Nor does he understand why pilots who are shot down in combat are honored by the military. On at least two occasions since becoming president, according to three sources with direct knowledge of his views, Trump referred to former President George H. W. Bush as a “loser” for being shot down by the Japanese as a Navy pilot in World War II. (Bush escaped capture, but eight other men shot down during the same mission were caught, tortured, and executed by Japanese soldiers.)

When lashing out at critics, Trump often reaches for illogical and corrosive insults, and members of the Bush family have publicly opposed him. But his cynicism about service and heroism extends even to the World War I dead buried outside Paris—people who were killed more than a quarter century before he was born. Trump finds the notion of military service difficult to understand, and the idea of volunteering to serve especially incomprehensible. (The president did not serve in the military; he received a medical deferment from the draft during the Vietnam War because of the alleged presence of bone spurs in his feet. In the 1990s, Trump said his efforts to avoid contracting sexually transmitted diseases constituted his “personal Vietnam.”)


Deny, deny, deny…this story is bad news for T. He knows it. They know it.


President Trump called U.S. soldiers injured or killed in war “losers,” questioned the country’s reverence for them and expressed confusion over why anyone would choose to serve, according to a new report that the White House has called “patently false.”

The report, published late Thursday by the Atlantic, cites four unnamed people with firsthand knowledge of Trump’s comments. It says Trump disparaged the military service of the late former president George H.W. Bush, objected to wounded veterans being involved in a military parade, and canceled a visit to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018 because he didn’t care about honoring those killed in war.

The White House released a sharply worded statement defending Trump — who has insulted POWs, traded barbs with grieving families of the dead and said before he was president that avoiding sexually transmitted diseases was his own “personal Vietnam,” — against accusations that he doesn’t respect the military.

“This report is false. President Trump holds the military in the highest regard,” White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said of the Atlantic’s reporting. “He’s demonstrated his commitment to them at every turn: delivering on his promise to give our troops a much needed pay raise, increasing military spending, signing critical veterans reforms, and supporting military spouses. This has no basis in fact.”

Trump then spoke to reporters late Thursday after arriving back in Washington from a campaign trip to Pennsylvania. He angrily denied the article’s claims, calling it a “disgrace” and the sources “lowlifes.”

“I would be willing to swear on anything that I never said that about our fallen heroes,” he said. “There is nobody that respects them more. So, I just think it’s a horrible, horrible thing.” He also tweeted about the article, claiming he “was never a big fan” of the late senator John McCain, but never called him a loser. “I never called John a loser. I swear on whatever, or whoever, I was asked to swear on, that I never called our great fallen soldiers anything other than HEROES,” Trump wrote. “This is more made up Fake News given by disgusting & jealous failures in a disgraceful attempt to influence the 2020 Election!”

Trump was “offended” by the claims in the report, said his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, speaking with reporters aboard Air Force One late Thursday. Another White House official, retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, an adviser to Vice President Pence, tweeted that the Atlantic report is “completely false.”

“Absolutely lacks merit,” said Kellogg, who spoke last week at the Republican National Convention. “I’ve been by the president’s side. He has always shown the highest respect to our active duty troops and veterans with utmost respect paid to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and those wounded in battle.”

A former senior administration official confirmed to The Washington Post that the president frequently made disparaging comments about veterans and soldiers missing in action, referring to them at times as “losers.”


#traitortrump trending on twitter

video from retired Major General Paul Eaton on MeidasTouch “You have shown disrespect for US Military…you are a loser…you are not a patriot”

Video of Maddow’s discussion of Mary Trump’s book with a passage on T saying he’d disown Junior if he enlisted, as well as part of Marla Maple’s Pre-nup saying that child support would be stopped if Tiffany enlisted.


The Pentagon has ordered Stars and Stripes to shut down for no good reason

Trump wants to pull funding from Stars and Stripes, a newspaper for American troops that began in the Civil War and has been serving our soldiers.

1 Like


Pete Buttigieg puts it right when speaking to Fox Network…and says if those around the president want to use their ‘weasel words’ (to say it never happened) let them (Sarah H Sanders, Bolton) but the truth is born out…we all saw T disparage Sen McCain - are we thinking our own eyes/ears are lying???


And Fox confirms

From Mary Trump about her father, who was in National Guard and a US airlines pilot was repeatedly told he was a loser…

From national hero, Capt. Sully Sullenberger, who landed that aircraft safely in the Hudson River.


Trump Calls for Firing of Fox News Reporter Who Confirmed President Disparaged Veterans


Trump liked the art at the U.S. ambassador’s historic residence in Paris so much he ordered it to be brought home to the White House. When it was examined by the White House art curators, they discovered that the art was fake. :laughing:


Here’s the problem for Donald Trump with the Atlantic story

Stories confirming the Atlantic’s account:

Jennifer Griffin, a national security correspondent for Fox News, confirmed the president’s remarks Friday.

While current and former officials contacted on Friday could not confirm some of the specifics in The Atlantic’s account, they did verify that Mr. Trump resisted supporting an official funeral and lowering flags after the death of Senator John McCain of Arizona, a Vietnam War hero whose military service he had disparaged. And Mr. Trump’s assertion on Friday that “I never called John a loser” was belied by video and Twitter recording him doing just that in 2015.

A senior Defense Department official with firsthand knowledge of events and a senior U.S. Marine Corps officer who was told about Trump’s comments confirmed some of the remarks to The Associated Press, including the 2018 cemetery comments.
A former senior administration official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly, confirmed to The Washington Post that the president frequently made disparaging comments about veterans and soldiers missing in action, referring to them at times as “losers.”

‘This is only the beginning’: Atlantic editor tells Trump more is to come over his soldier insults

The Atlantic’s editor-in-chief says his story about Trump calling vets ‘losers’ is just the beginning

Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, said his magazine’s story about Trump calling Americans who died in battle “losers” and “suckers,” was just the tip of the iceberg.

“I would fully expect more reporting to come out about this and more confirmation and new pieces of information in the coming days and weeks,” Goldberg told CNN’s Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources” Sunday. “We have a responsibility and we’re going to do it regardless of what he says.”

The magazine received backlash – from Trump and many others – for attributing the information to four anonymous sources. CNN has confirmed several aspects of The Atlantic’s reporting, also with sources who chose to remain anonymous.

But Goldberg said that’s how the media is able to do its job of uncovering stories that take place behind closed doors.

“We all have to use anonymous sources, especially in a climate where the president of the United States tries to actively intimidate,” Goldberg said of his editorial decision to cite nameless people. “These are not people who are anonymous to me.”

Carl Bernstein, the investigate reporter known for breaking the Watergate story that took down President Richard Nixon, told Stelter on Reliable Sources Sunday that anonymous sourcing is often a crucial tool for reporters.

“Almost all 200 of our stories about Watergate were based on anonymous sourcing,” he said. Bernstein added that during the Trump era, “reporting is almost uniformly based on anonymous sourcing in part because that’s the only way we can get to the truth.”

When it comes to the current presidency, Bernstein said, “We have to recognize that almost everything we know about the truth of Donald Trump and his presidency comes from reporting,” adding, “The fake news is the president’s news,” and journalists are “doing the real reporting.”

On Sunday, Trump fired back at The Atlantic, directly attacking its majority owner, Laurene Powell Jobs.

“Steve Jobs would not be happy that his wife is wasting money he left her on a failing Radical Left Magazine that is run by a con man (Goldberg) and spews FAKE NEWS & HATE,” Trump tweeted. “Call her, write her, let her know how you feel!!!”

Goldberg shot back at Trump, saying that the magazine will continue to report on his administration.

“We’re not going to be intimidated by the President of the United States. We’re going to do our jobs,” Goldberg said.

I can’t help but notice that Trump’s response of “I’ve done more for the military than almost anyone else” is basically the same one he gives when called out on his racism.