Yes, unfortunately something big and bad is going to be necessary to get his poll numbers up. A real life "Wag The Dog "scenario.
I wish that it will NOT be " the next two years are going to be nonstop political war"
The last few days have offered plenty of foreshadowing. The newly empowered Democrats summoned the president’s longtime personal lawyer to testify after he implicated Mr. Trump in an illegal scheme to arrange hush payments before the 2016 election for women who claimed to have had affairs with him. Legal papers disclosed that Mr. Trump’s onetime campaign chairman shared polling data with an associate tied by prosecutors to Russian intelligence.
New reports over the weekend added to the sense of siege at the White House. The New York Times reported that after Mr. Trump fired the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, in 2017, the bureau opened an investigation into whether the president was working for the Russians. And The Washington Post reported that Mr. Trump has gone out of his way as president to hide the details of his discussions with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia even from members of his own administration.
What all this adds up to remains unclear. Whether it will lead to a full-blown impeachment inquiry in the House has yet to be decided. But it underscores the chance that with candidates already lining up to take him on in 2020, Washington will spend the months to come debating the future of Mr. Trump’s presidency and the direction of the country.
“The reality,” said Andy Surabian, a Republican strategist and former special assistant to Mr. Trump, is “that the next two years are going to be nonstop political war.”
The White House has begun recruiting soldiers. The new White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, has hired 17 new lawyers, according to The Post, as he prepares for a barrage of subpoenas from House Democratic committee chairmen.
Here is another one about the same…concocting a false Iran war.
Bill Barr will begin his Congressional review on Tuesday, Jan 15th, where he will be pummeled with questions on where he stands on Mueller’s autonomy and continuing pursuit of answering questions of who was involved with the Russian Investigation. Perhaps most important will be questions over whether Barr will give T a pass, and help T protect himself via Executive Privilege or whether will protect Mueller’s final report, change it in any way or release it.
This article examines some of Barr’s previous testimony regarding whose final opinion would count…See tweet # 2…“he would accept and support a superior’s (AG or POTUS) judgement & not resign even if he disagreed.”
RE: T’s speech…DOA
He’ll continue to insist that any bill to reopen the government include billions of dollars for a physical barrier on the US-Mexico border — a “wall” — but is now open to such a bill including other immigration provisions as well.
Most notably, he’s open to extending existing protections for the 700,000 or so immigrants currently protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who currently have legal status under Temporary Protected Status. The Trump administration has moved to sunset DACA, and to end protections for most of the immigrants covered under TPS. Both of those plans are currently held up in litigation.
Democrats aren’t particularly interested in what Trump’s proposing. “Democrats were not consulted on this and have rejected similar overtures previously,” a Democratic aide told Vox. “It’s clearly a non-serious product of negotiations amongst White House staff to try to clean up messes the president created in the first place. POTUS is holding more people hostage for his wall.”
From the Department of Pants on Fire:
Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, said on Sunday that discussions about building a Trump Tower in Moscow lasted through the November 2016 election, months longer than previously confirmed.
Mr. Giuliani said in an interview with The New York Times that Mr. Trump “recalls a series of conversations” with his former lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, about the project during the campaign.
“He can’t tell you the date” that it ended, Mr. Giuliani said. “There are no entries or phone logs” that indicated specifics, he added.
“The best he could do is, ‘We talked about it, I knew he was running with it, I honestly didn’t pay much attention to it,’” Mr. Giuliani said, characterizing Mr. Trump’s memory. He added that Mr. Trump recalled, “‘It was all going from the day I announced to the day I won.’”
The comments further extended an already growing timeline for the discussions. Mr. Cohen had told Congress that the negotiations ended in January 2016, before the first presidential primaries, but later in a plea agreement, he said they continued as late as June 2016, after Mr. Trump was the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Mr. Giuliani had then indicated in an interview with ABC News last month that the talks had lasted possibly until Election Day, although he was less specific than he was on Sunday.
Trump officials had initially described the project as the province of Mr. Cohen and simply in the discussion phase. But Mr. Trump had signed a nonbinding letter of intent on the project.
Continuation of Pants on Fire @Keaton_James
So many versions of what Cohen/Trump might have coordinated…
Rudy is another mix-it-up part of the equation…“There is no such thing as a (Moscow) Deal.”
“The President gave the accurate version of the story.” RG
“If Trump did have discussions with him (Cohen), he gave him (Cohen) the version of the truth of what happened in T Tower Deal” RG @ 4:40 point
And the tried-and-true “I believe Cohen is a serial liar.” - RG 4:54
“You just acknowledged that it might be possible T must have talked with Cohen about his testimony…” Jake Tapper to RG.
“Which would be perfectly normal” “I don’t know if it happened or didn’t happen-but it is privileged info. I can not speak about it.” RG 5:20 (Note: John Dowd was the lawyer in charge then)
“Michael Cohen was driving the story…and MC knew what happened.T was running for president (in joint defense agreement)” RG 7:16
“In Written testimony - Trump acknowledged that he had conversations w/ Michael Cohen, but MC was driving the conversation.” - RG 8:08
And a mention of Meet the PRess
In an interview that aired Sunday morning on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Giuliani was asked about the report and said he was “certain” Trump would never have asked Cohen not to tell the truth to Congress.
“Categorically, I can tell you his counsel to Michael Cohen throughout that entire period was, ‘Tell the truth,’” Giuliani said. "We thought he was telling the truth. I still believe he may have been telling the truth when he testified before Congress."
What Giuliani does…best. Look scary.
Note: Just wanted to fill this space…I had duplicated the previous entry.
What hat that MAGA hat wrought…it has unveiled all the White Only preferences and somehow, emboldens kids to bully this native American Vietnam Vet.
Another Meme is floating below…of the civil rights era. Prejudice is not new…acting on it is.
‘It was getting ugly’: Native American drummer speaks on the MAGA-hat-wearing teens who surrounded him
Bunch of carefully orchestrated words from our humble (and fraudster) Mike Pence. I do not believe ONE WORD.
@dragonfly9 The best reporting on this is from Indian Country News. They have the full story.
Watch the full escalation and deescalation attempt by Vertern Nathan Phillips of the Omaha Nation. FYI—at one point those students preform what is known as the “tomahawk chop” while chanting their school fight song. And then a young man from the group of students, removes his shirt to preform what could only be described as an impression of The Haka, the Maori War Dance.
It’s now official. Trump makes this move on a Sunday to avoid the headlines, but the nation is watching.
Why is Trump caving in to a Putin-connected oligarch who has attacked the foundations of our democracy? This is the very person that Trump’s campaign manager was indebted to to the tune of $20 million. It is the very person that the campaign manager offered briefings to to absolve that debt. And it is the very person who likely ended up with secret polling data channeled by the campaign manager. So is it now a mere coincidence that Trump is bestowing an enormous windfall on this oligarch?
Here’s the NYT article that reveals how Deripaska has only pretended to comply with the terms to lift the sanctions. In reality, he is using loopholes to circumvent the requirements and, as a result, will benefit enormously as the sanctions are lifted.
And here’s Rachel Maddow’s compelling exposé on this Trump/Republican/Russian con job.
Thanks for bringing this up to the forefront again. Rachel did a great job on her reporting on this…and many of her peers praised this broadcast.
Seems like Mnuchin made the pitch for not penalizing Rusal in all this…but as we see the deal does benefit Deripaska - he can deep six his debt and get a greater position in the company.
Am not sure why the additional Democratic voting did not do anything to help stave this off.
But it stays out of the headlines if it’s done on Sunday - so thanks @Keaton_James for making mention of it.
Never did pass the smell test…you wonder if something can be done retroactively… (but that assumes there will be a power shift in Washington soon…and no one knows.)
After listening to some of Whitaker’s snarling testimony yesterday, I recall several questions to him from the Dems concerning would DOJ try to remove people/fire or prevent SDNY from doing it’s job. Preet Bharara is the most remarkable SDNY Attorney who was blatently removed for possible political reasons due to his closeness with the Prevezon hearing I believe.
Not sure what that questioning was going towards, and if someone knows, please enlighten us.
I do know now with the Mueller Investigation, a Democratically-led Congress who can subpoena and get people to speak under oath, as well as the fulsome SDNY we have more pressure than ever bearing down on the Prez.
That said, this Guardian piece does describe how powerful and ready to prosecute the SDNY is, and where they are sending subpoenas. Even Chris Christie, now on his book tour, suggests that it is the SDNY which will get to the Trump Org, and all the wayward, illegal, mob-like spending. And thankfully so.
SDNY has teeth. Long may they pursue this grafting, grifting family and their kind.
On Friday, ProPublica and WNYC reported further eye-popping news: that the inaugural committee paid the Trump International hotel in Washington a rate of $175,000 a day for event space.
The implications of the subpoena and what followed were clear,and they were all bad for Trump, worse even than the threat posed by the special counsel’s investigation of ties between his campaign and Russia, said the former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, an erstwhile member of Trump’s inner circle, once in charge of transition planning, and a former US attorney himself.
In interviews with the Guardian, former SDNY prosecutors spelled out why investigations run out of New York of Trump-linked interests could dog the president, his family and his associates for years, including after his departure from office.
Unlike Mueller, Trump cannot as a practical matter fire the entire southern district, which comprises about 150 career prosecutors, as distinguishable from political appointees. Unlike Mueller, the southern district is not constrained in what it might investigate by a narrow authorization. And unlike Mueller, the southern district does not report, on most matters, directly to the attorney general, who is appointed by the president and who might act at the president’s bidding, though norms of justice department independence proscribe that.
David Pecker’s lawyer, Elkan Abramowitz, comes to his defense in an interview with George Stephanopoulos. IMHO, a very weak defense.
Abramowitz tries to make the case that AMI was “negotiating” with Bezos about a story it had published in the past and they were basically cleaning up old loose ends. That is patently false – in the past, AMI did publish a story about intimate texts sent between Bezos and his mistress, but in this new “negotiation” they were threatening Bezos with a yet-to-be-published story in which they would expose embarrassing photos of him if he didn’t meet their demands – so this is much more about a future, potentially devastating, story than about an old one that has already played out. The first time Abramowitz makes this false claim, Stephanopoulos pushes back, but when Abramowitz repeats it later, Stephanopoulos lets it slide – not good – he should have called out Abramowitz again.
Abramowitz admits AMI sought financing from Saudi Arabia, but emphatically states they didn’t receive any. He may well be telling the truth, but I’ve become somewhat jaded about claims like this from Trump associates. I recall Manafort saying he had no ties to Russia – but we found that his partner Kilimnik has ties to Russian intelligence and that he had many other indirect ties to Russia via pro-Russian oligarchs and organizations in the Ukraine. I also recall Trump tweeting “I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA” (caps are his), but we discovered he had been secretly negotiating a huge Moscow hotel deal during his campaign. Trump and his colleagues have a very bad track record when it comes being truthful about ties to foreign businesses and governments – there’s every reason to expect that Trump’s close friend David Pecker will be the same.
I agree with you…Abramowitz would like to be ahead of the story, and this is a weak argument.
He was also stating the source of the source of the texts/photos more than likely came from someone that Sanchez/Bezos knew, Michael Sanchez ie her brother, the T supporter.
Abramowitz also was really trying to get away from any Saudi financing and allegiances to MBS in the argument.
Go Schiff! Go Engel! Go Democrats!
House Democrats are taking their first real steps to force President Donald Trump to divulge information about his private conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, setting up an extraordinary clash with the White House over Congress’ oversight authority.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the Intelligence Committee chairman, and Rep. Eliot Engel, the Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, told POLITICO they are actively consulting with House General Counsel Douglas Letter about the best way to legally compel the Trump administration to turn over documents or other information related to the president’s one-on-one discussions with the Russian leader.
“I had a meeting with the general counsel to discuss this and determine the best way to find out what took place in those private meetings — whether it’s by seeking the interpreter’s testimony, the interpreter’s notes, or other means,” Schiff (D-Calif.) said in a brief interview.
It’s a development that indicates Schiff and Engel are close to taking action on the matter; key members of the majority party often consult with the chamber’s general counsel on issues that could end up playing out in court.
Here’s a WaPo piece from last month that provides some context – it lays out why it’s so crucial to find out what Trump has been discussing with Putin in their private sessions.
The circumstances of these talks are absolutely unprecedented and downright frightening. For the first time in modern history, the President has held meetings with the leader of a rival foreign power without anyone knowing what was said, not even his top advisors. And he stubbornly maneuvers to transact such ultra-private sessions over and over again.
It’s frightening to consider what kind of quid pro quos the President might be arranging with Putin and just as frightening to consider that Putin may be recording the talks and can then use the information as kompromat against our President – that’s one of the main reasons that protocol has always demanded that other top officials be present in such talks.
President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former U.S. officials said. …
The constraints that Trump imposed are part of a broader pattern by the president of shielding his communications with Putin from public scrutiny and preventing even high-ranking officials in his own administration from fully knowing what he has told one of the United States’ main adversaries.
As a result, U.S. officials said there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump’s face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years. Such a gap would be unusual in any presidency, let alone one that Russia sought to install through what U.S. intelligence agencies have described as an unprecedented campaign of election interference.
The Acting U.S. Defense Secretary of the Pentagon is not backing what T has proposed…at least not initially. This is one of the many elements of the fight that
T will wager…
Getting rid of DOD’s Mattis, playing king and getting what he wants at any cost does not endear T to anyone of those parts of the government.
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.
President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval.
A U.S. defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Shanahan was likely to approve the $3.6 billion being redirected from the military construction budget.
Watch McCabe on 60 minutes