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👑 Portrait of a President

curated-threads

#141

More humiliation coming at T…avoiding the draft by way of bribe/favor his father arranged.

No one is ever surprised… but I am always cynically unnerved by the pomposity of his forgetting/lying about what had gone down about his bone spur ailments and every other conceit this ______ has spewed…

NYTimes: Did a Queens Podiatrist Help Donald Trump Avoid Vietnam?

For 50 years, the details of how the exemption came about, and who made the diagnosis, have remained a mystery, with Mr. Trump himself saying during the presidential campaign that he could not recall who had signed off on the medical documentation.

Now a possible explanation has emerged about the documentation. It involves a foot doctor in Queens who rented his office from Mr. Trump’s father, Fred C. Trump, and a suggestion that the diagnosis was granted as a courtesy to the elder Mr. Trump.

The podiatrist, Dr. Larry Braunstein, died in 2007. But his daughters say their father often told the story of coming to the aid of a young Mr. Trump during the Vietnam War as a favor to his father.


📝 Must Read Op-Ed and Profiles
#142

How the producer Mark Burnett made T his star on ‘The Apprentice’…and what kinds of false narratives (T as all powerful, rich arbiter of other people’s fates) were created to add to the drama…

And the fateful remark from Jimmy Kimmel during the awards show…

“Television brings people together, but television can also tear us apart,” Kimmel mused. “I mean, if it wasn’t for television, would Donald Trump be running for President?” In the crowd, there was laughter. “Many have asked, ‘Who is to blame for Donald Trump?’ ” Kimmel continued. “I’ll tell you who, because he’s sitting right there. That guy.” Kimmel pointed into the audience, and the live feed cut to a closeup of Burnett, whose expression resolved itself into a rigid grin. “Thanks to Mark Burnett, we don’t have to watch reality shows anymore, because we’re living in one,” Kimmel said. Burnett was still smiling, but Kimmel wasn’t. He went on, “I’m going on the record right now. He’s responsible. If Donald Trump gets elected and he builds that wall, the first person we’re throwing over it is Mark Burnett. The tribe has spoken.”

Tony Schwartz, who wrote “The Art of the Deal,” which falsely presented Trump as its primary author, told me that he feels some responsibility for facilitating Trump’s imposture. But, he said, “Mark Burnett’s influence was vastly greater,” adding, “ ‘The Apprentice’ was the single biggest factor in putting Trump in the national spotlight.” Schwartz has publicly condemned Trump, describing him as “the monster I helped to create.” Burnett, by contrast, has refused to speak publicly about his relationship with the President or about his curious, but decisive, role in American history.

“The Apprentice” was built around a weekly series of business challenges. At the end of each episode, Trump determined which competitor should be “fired.” But, as Braun explained, Trump was frequently unprepared for these sessions, with little grasp of who had performed well. Sometimes a candidate distinguished herself during the contest only to get fired, on a whim, by Trump. When this happened, Braun said, the editors were often obliged to “reverse engineer” the episode, scouring hundreds of hours of footage to emphasize the few moments when the exemplary candidate might have slipped up, in an attempt to assemble an artificial version of history in which Trump’s shoot-from-the-hip decision made sense. During the making of “The Apprentice,” Burnett conceded that the stories were constructed in this way, saying, “We know each week who has been fired, and, therefore, you’re editing in reverse.” Braun noted that President Trump’s staff seems to have been similarly forced to learn the art of retroactive narrative construction, adding, “I find it strangely validating to hear that they’re doing the same thing in the White House.”


#143

T is dug in…calling allies, watching tv, not willing to compromise on the funding for the wall.

He is virtually walled in…some irony there. :thinking:

NYTimes: Trump Digs In, Darkening Hopes for a Deal to End the Shutdown

The television is on. The phone is never far away. And President Trump is repeatedly calling allies such as members of Congress and conservative radio hosts, telling them privately that he will not give in on his demand for funding for a border wall.

What the president who campaigned on his ability to cut deals has not done, nine days into a partial government shutdown over his signature campaign issue, is reach out to Democratic congressional leaders to strike one.

Virtually alone in the West Wing since the shutdown began, Mr. Trump has instead taken to Twitter to excoriate Democrats, and highlight that he canceled his own vacation to his private club in Florida while lawmakers left the city. He has lamented the negativity of the news media coverage, which has included repeated airings of Mr. Trump’s declaration in the Oval Office that he would not blame Democrats for a shutdown, according to people familiar with his thinking.

Even as some lawmakers floated compromises on Sunday, Democrats prepared to pass a bill to fund the government as soon as they take control of the House on Thursday. Like the Democrats, Mr. Trump appears to have dug in. And the uncertainty over what he might sign threatens to indefinitely drag out a shutdown that has affected 800,000 federal workers and shuttered parts of nine cabinet-level departments.


#144

No surprises here…

T’s lies are categorized into types…and the prevailing wisdom amongst those who may be considered for cabinet positions (Stanley McChrystal) is that T is a liar, and is immoral.

'nuf said

We review how President Trump bent the truth this year by repeating and inflating falsehoods, shifting his statements, embellishing or omitting details, and offering misleading attacks.

President Trump has a well-documented problem telling the truth.

Fact checkers have compiled lists of all of Mr. Trump’s falsehoods since he took office (The Washington Post counts over 7,500, and The Toronto Star over 3,900), rounded up his most egregious whoppers in year-end lists and scrutinized his claims in real time with television chyrons.

Repetition and Inflation

Mr. Trump refuses to correct most of his inaccurate claims, instead asserting them over and over again.

…In some cases, true claims morph into false ones in Mr. Trump’s telling.

Shifting and Deflecting

In the face of controversy or criticism, Mr. Trump has defended initial falsehoods with additional dubious claims.

Misleading Vagueness and Fanciful Details

The president is known for being unscripted and loose with language, but he sometimes shows tactical restraint.

Inventing Straw Men

The usual target of this particular strain of falsehoods is the news media, which Mr. Trump suggests purposely underestimates or misinterprets him.

CNN

Retired four-star Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal on Sunday criticized President Donald Trump for his approach to the presidency in a wide-ranging interview that saw the former top commander of the US and international forces in Afghanistan label Trump as dishonest and immoral.

I don’t think he tells the truth,” McChrystal told ABC’s Martha Raddatz on “This Week.” When asked if he thought Trump was immoral, McChrystal responded: “I think he is.”


#145

He says the strangest Pro-Russian things sometimes.
Click to watch the video :point_down:

Read why Trump’s position is super weird and wrong. :point_down:

And


#146

I guess the President didn’t watch the show :woman_shrugging:t2:


#147

Am totally alarmed at how weird T continues to act, spouting off lies, acting like he knows what he is talking about…It continues to be the T show…with very little truth backing up what he is saying. It is all about conning people, and bullying his way thru a smarter Congressional House than he’s ever seen.

More to come unfortunately.

Trump is detached from reality

Trump has received no money from Congress to build a border wall. While the president wants Americans to believe that the lack of a wall presents a dire national security risk, there is no evidence terrorists are taking advantage of the situation to drive into the country in desolate areas along the border where there are no official ports of entry.

Later, Trump said that “if we do what the Democrats want, all of the border things that we’ll be building will be done right here in the good old USA by steel companies that were practically out of business when I came in to office as president, and now they’re thriving.”

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been clear that she thinks a border wall is an “immorality” — whether it’s built out of concrete, steel, or something else entirely.

It has nothing do with politics. The wall, in my view, is an immorality. It is a waste of money. … It’s a diversionary tactic,” she said during a news conference on Thursday. “We are not doing a wall.”

Tweet within the article

@elistokels (LAT reporter)

Among the president's false claims:

- "new border wall" in San Diego (built in 1990s, simply updated)
- furloughed federal workers want him to keep it up (polls show the opposite)
- Obama told him DACA "wasn't going to work" (he didn't)



@EliStokols

Trump also claimed that McConnell wasn’t at the Rose Garden presser “because he’s running the Senate.”

Except the Senate isn't in session. 

And McConnell’s spokesman told reporters he’d have stayed if he’d known about the presser.

It’s hard to pin the president down on the facts

During an interview on Thursday, Pelosi explained why she thinks it’s difficult to negotiate with Trump.

When you’re negotiating with someone, you have to know, you stipulate to some fact,” she said. “It’s hard to do that with the president because he resists science, evidence, data, truth. It’s hard to pin the president down on the facts.”

One thing Trump was clear about during Friday’s news conference is that he wants $5.6 billion for border security as part of a deal to end the shutdown. While he described his meeting with Schumer and Pelosi as “very productive,” he couldn’t cite a single specific breakthrough that resulted from it.

Pelosi, on the other hand, described the meeting as “contentious.”

And many more examples of his unhinged thinking


(Renee) #148

The gift that keeps on giving…sheesh!


#149

Watch Barbara Res comments about working with T for many years. He’s over-confident and insecure, he looks for and then goes after weakness…oh so many ego-driven, narcissist traits. She says “He’s a terrible President.”

Yes, he is.


#150

“Victory in Chaos”…that says is all.

The naysayers would be proved right, but throughout the turmoil Mr. Trump fixated on just one outcome: declaring himself a winner and Mr. Griffin a loser.

As president, Mr. Trump has displayed a similar fixation in his standoff with Congress over leveraging a government shutdown to gain funding for a wall on the Mexican border. As he did during decades in business, Mr. Trump has insulted adversaries, undermined his aides, repeatedly changed course, extolled his primacy as a negotiator and induced chaos.

He hasn’t changed at all,” said Jack O’Donnell, who ran a casino for Mr. Trump in the 1980s and wrote a book about it. “And it’s only people who have been around him through the years who realize that.”

And his ever-changing positions (I’ll own the shutdown; you own the shutdown; the wall could be steel; it must be concrete; then again, it could be steel) have left heads in both parties spinning. Even after his televised proposal on Saturday to break the deadlock, Mr. Trump has no progress to show.


#151

Another book “Team of Vipers,” by Cliff Sims, WH Director of Communications detailing all the chaos in the West Wing and the low rent nature of well you know who and all the others.

Details which I can not unsee…like Tresomme Tres Two hairspray; T’s inablity to concentrate on details, when he walks out on Paul Ryan’s recap of the Health Care issue; KellyAnne Conway being the “the American Sniper of West Wing marksmen;” that T watches “Morning Joe,” natch…and the bluster that went down with the crowd size problem.

All ego, all the time. Uggggh

As White House director of message strategy, Sims regularly met Trump at the private elevator of the residence and accompanied him to video tapings — carrying a can of Tresemmé Tres Two hair spray, extra hold, for the boss. At one such taping, about an hour after Trump had tweeted that he saw MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski “bleeding badly from a facelift,” the president sought feedback from Sims and Spicer.

“They’re going to say it’s not presidential,” Trump said, referring to the media. “But you know what? It’s modern-day presidential.” The president then raged about the “Morning Joe” program on which Brzezinski appears and instructed Spicer, “Don’t you dare say I watch that show.”

President Trump greets House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) at a Dec. 20, 2017, White House event celebrating passage of the tax cut bill, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other lawmakers looking on. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Sims also recounts a meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a longtime friend, and former chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon at which Sessions suggested a polygraph test of national security officials to root out “leakers” after The Post reported the transcripts of Trump’s phone calls with the Mexican president and Australian prime minister.

At times, Trump evinced less rage than a lack of interest. Sims recounts one time when Ryan was in the Oval Office explaining the ins and outs of the Republican health-care bill to the president. As Ryan droned on for 15 minutes, Trump sipped on a glass of Diet Coke, peered out at the Rose Garden, stared aimlessly at the walls and, finally, walked out.

Ryan kept talking as the president wandered down the hall to his private dining room, where he flicked on his giant flat-screen TV. Apparently, he had had enough of Ryan’s talk. It fell to Vice President Pence to retrieve Trump and convince him to return to the Oval Office so they could continue their strategy session.

White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci talks with reporters outside the White House on July 25, 2017. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Sims reconstructs moments of crisis for the West Wing communications team in play-by-play detail, including the domestic abuse allegations against former staff secretary Rob Porter and the firing of James B. Comey as FBI director.

He paints Spicer, counselor Kellyanne Conway and communications adviser Mercedes Schlapp in an especially negative light, calling Conway “the American Sniper of West Wing marksmen” and describing her agenda as “survival over all others, including the president.”


(Renee) #152

Hardly a surprise, right? I think this is the agenda - trump chaos and its distruction of the presidency, government and standing of the US within the world. It doesn’t matter where it ends that is why Putin has that weird smile on his face everytime he appears with this jackass. That there isn’t 100% of the US in the streets demanding change is just amazing to me. As amazing as it has been since day one. What is wrong with people?


#153

He got $0. An ineffectual leader and virtually lame-ducked.

So on Friday, the 35th day of a government shutdown that he said he was proud to instigate, President Trump finally folded. After vowing for weeks that he would keep the government closed unless he secured billions in funding for his promised border wall, Trump agreed to reopen it.

He got $0 instead.

Trump’s capitulation to Democrats marked a humiliating low point in a polarizing presidency and sparked an immediate backlash among some conservative allies, who cast him as a wimp.

Elected as a self-proclaimed master dealmaker and business wizard who would bend Washington to his will and stand firm on his campaign promises — chief among them the wall — Trump risks being exposed as ineffective.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/prisoner-of-his-own-impulse-inside-trumps-cave-to-end-shutdown-without-wall/2019/01/25/e4a4789a-20d5-11e9-8b59-0a28f2191131_story.html?utm_term=.b1eae875c2e6

“It would be accurate to say he was backed into a corner,” one WH official said re POTUS.


#154

Here’s the fall out. T has a twitter fit, and downgrades Sims to a gofer. And there’s a law suit pending.

But George Conway, jumps in on this.


#155

Putting this under Portrait of a President, because it is all about his incompetence and his alternate universe that he operates within.

a clear majority of people contacted for the Post-ABC News poll — think Trump is doing badly.

Compared with polling from when Trump took office, perceptions of the president’s performance have plummeted on the federal budget deficit, on improving the health-care system and on the economy.

Perhaps the greatest danger to Trump’s political future is the cost of these negative perceptions to his brand. The president was elected, in part, by giving his supporters an impression of business acumen. This was, in fact, the image carefully cultivated by book publishers and TV producers. And by Trump himself as a presidential candidate, who claimed to be a peerless negotiator, an unrivaled businessman and an excellent manager.

The problem for Trump is not only that he lost the most visible and important confrontation of his presidency — in negotiating with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) over the government shutdown. It is that his methods are so blunt and transparent. His typical tactic is to raise the stakes of a negotiation impossibly high — a government shutdown or nuclear war — then to make a maximal demand and trust in the triumph of his stronger will. It is a form of negotiation ended by someone saying “uncle.” That Trump ended up in abject humiliation was perhaps fated by biology: You can angrily hold your breath for only so long.

If, in the next stage, the loser acts unilaterally under the pretense of a border security crisis, it will merely prove that Trump is a dangerously sore loser.

Meanwhile, in a variety of global negotiations, American opponents need only master one method: flattery. It should concern us that the American president is a source of global derision and national shame.


The other branding claims made by Trump have become equally incredible. His reputation as a self-made billionaire lies in ruins.

And who can take Trump seriously as a manager? He has a talent for weeding out the talented and responsible. He is a world-class nepotist. He is incapable of delegation or of taking conflicting advice. He is unreliable in dealing with his allies.

We have plumbed the shallows of his boasts. They are refuted lies. And whatever else the president may be, he is a fraud.

And guess who chimes in as well on it…


#156

Breaking

Going to the paper of record for his rant tonight on poor, old me…victim…he is losing money…and not going after the wall being built. Read on for nuances and misstatements (on intel heads and who is right.)

NYTimes: Trump, in Interview, Calls Wall Talks ‘Waste of Time’ and Dismisses Investigations

The interview was arranged after Mr. Trump reached out to A.G. Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times, and invited him for an off-the-record dinner. Mr. Sulzberger declined, saying he would prefer an on-the-record interview that included two of his reporters. The president agreed.

Mr. Trump spoke with a low voice, his arms folded tightly during questions about the Russia inquiry. But he was more good humored at other points. He grew most animated when describing media coverage he considers unfair. At one point, he scoffed at the notion that he was making money from the presidency, calling the job a “loser” financially.

“I lost massive amounts of money doing this job,” he said. “This is not the money. This one of the great losers of all time. You know, fortunately, I don’t need money. This is one of the great losers of all time. But they’ll say that somebody from some country stayed at a hotel. And I’ll say, ‘Yeah.’ But I lose, I mean, the numbers are incredible.”


#157

Contrarian par Excellence our President is…

I have intel people, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree. President Bush had intel people that said Saddam Hussein in Iraq had nuclear weapons, had all sorts of weapons of mass destruction. Guess what? Those intel people didn’t know what the hell they were doing, and they got us tied up in a war that we should have never been in.”

He added, “We were in many, many locations in the Middle East, in huge difficulty. Every single one of them was caused by the number one terrorist nation in the world which is Iran. So when my intelligence people tell me how wonderful Iran is — if you don’t mind, I’m going to just go by my own counsel.”

Mr. Trump said he wouldn’t stop his intelligence chiefs from testifying again, saying, “I want them to have their own opinion and I want them to give me their opinion.”

“It’s a national emergency, it’s other things and, you know, there have been plenty national emergencies called,” he said. “You need a wall. And anybody that says you don’t, they’re just playing games.”

Mr. Trump criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her negotiating tactics in this fight. Pelosi has firmly insisted the House will not agree to increased funding for the wall.

She can keep playing her games, but we will win,” he said. “Because we have a much better issue. On a political basis, what she’s doing is — I actually think it’s bad politics, but much more importantly it’s very bad for our country.”

Like with General Mattis, I wasn’t happy with his service. I told him, ‘Give me a letter,’” he told Brennan, who pointed out that Mattis had resigned.

"He resigned because I asked him to resign," Mr. Trump said. "He resigned because I was very nice to him.


#158

A wholesale contradictory position that T so desires which is to keep your viewpoints prominent because you can discount the intel groups. It seems like this is very much part of a defensive strategy T has…‘I’m right, they are wrong’ and a
‘dismantling of the administrative state’ as Bannon had mentioned was one of the key objectives of this administration.

Citing multiple in-person episodes, these intelligence officials say Trump displays what one called “willful ignorance” when presented with analyses generated by America’s $81 billion-a-year intelligence services. The officials, who include analysts who prepare Trump’s briefs and the briefers themselves, describe futile attempts to keep his attention by using visual aids, confining some briefing points to two or three sentences, and repeating his name and title as frequently as possible.

What is most troubling, say these officials and others in government and on Capitol Hill who have been briefed on the episodes, are Trump’s angry reactions when he is given information that contradicts positions he has taken or beliefs he holds. Two intelligence officers even reported that they have been warned to avoid giving the President intelligence assessments that contradict stances he has taken in public.

When Bannon spoke at the Republican event - CPAC, he talked about this.


#159

Lots of Executive Time, very few scheduled meetings, no need to listen or get Intelligence Briefings means a whole swath of time for TV watching and talking on the phone…

Chilling…

A White House source has leaked nearly every day of President Trump’s private schedule for the past three months.

Why it matters: This unusually voluminous leak gives us unprecedented visibility into how this president spends his days. The schedules, which cover nearly every working day since the midterms, show that Trump has spent around 60% of his scheduled time over the past 3 months in unstructured “Executive Time.”

We’ve published every page of the leaked schedules in a piece that accompanies this item. To protect our source, we retyped the schedules in the same format that West Wing staff receives them.

What the schedules show: Trump, an early riser, usually spends the first 5 hours of the day in Executive Time. Each day’s schedule places Trump in “Location: Oval Office” from 8 to 11 a.m.

But Trump, who often wakes before 6 a.m., is never in the Oval during those hours, according to six sources with direct knowledge.
Instead, he spends his mornings in the residence, watching TV, reading the papers, and responding to what he sees and reads by phoning aides, members of Congress, friends, administration officials and informal advisers.

actual schedules


(M A Croft) #160

Sarah Huckabee Sanders has an interesting explanation though :smile:

Sanders told the outlet on Sunday that the point is “to allow for a more creative environment that has helped make him the most productive President in modern history.”

“President Trump has a different leadership style than his predecessors and the results speak for themselves,” Sanders said, adding that he “spends much of his average day in scheduled meetings, events, and calls.”

Sanders then rattled off a list of what she said were Trump’s accomplishments in an effort to prove her point, from tax cuts to trade deals.

Apparently she did have her fingers crossed behind her back :smiling_imp: