Saturday, December 01, 2018

Trump: Crazy? Stupid? Venal? Ignorant? Traitorous? All Of The Above?


The other day, in one of his delusional twitter ranks, the cornered rat was screeching that Mueller’s meticulous investigation into Putin-Gate is an “illegal Joseph McCarthy style Witch Hunt” that wasted $40,000,000. For those who keep track of this sort of thing, Eric Levitz, writing for New York Magazine, noted that Trump had his numbers wrong. Trump, who was always ran his businesses very badly and was in and out of bankruptcies for his whole career, was off by $40,000,000.

Levitz speculated that it was likely that the illegitimate fake “president” just picked a large number “out of thin air, in a bid to discredit the investigation into his campaign’s alleged ties to Russian interference in the 2016 election… As of September, the fiscal cost of the Mueller investigation was roughly $0.00. By that point, the probe had spent roughly $26 million. But, by striking a plea agreement with Paul Manafort for his myriad white-collar crimes— an agreement that required Trump’s former campaign manager to forfeit five multi-million-dollar properties, a life-insurance policy, and the contents of multiple bank accounts— Mueller’s investigation had acquired somewhere between $26 million and $42 million worth of revenue for the federal treasury.”

If your conclusion is that the Mueller investigation isn’t costing the taxpayers a dime but actually profitable for the taxpayers, you’re more of a mathematical genius than a certain Wharton graduate ever will be.
The Mueller probe’s (apparent) profitability is indicative of more than just Donald Trump’s mendacity: It also reflects the fact that there are few forms of law enforcement more cost-efficient than cracking down on super-rich tax cheats and money launderers. And yet, for some strange reason, the federal law enforcement has not made punishing the financial malfeasance of the super-rich a top-tier priority.
Now, what about the even more dubious claiming in Trump’s tweet about Mueller’s investigation proving that “there was NO Collusion with Russia?” Quite the contrary— which is exactly why Trump has been unravelling on the public stage lately. Don’t expect to get the full picture until Mueller delivers his final report to Congress, but financial journalist Adam Davidson laid out a very plausible collusion scenario that Alternate explained last night. “While evidence continues to emerge about President Donald Trump's collusion with Russia and his obstruction of justice,” wrote Cody Fenwick, “much less attention gets paid to the fact that the Trump Organization, with its sprawling international reach and opaque business practices, is almost certainly deeply involved in corrupt and criminal financial practices.”
But the revelation that Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen lied to Congress about work on the proposal for a Trump Tower Moscow reveals one way in which all three types of crimes might be tied together, as New Yorker reporter Adam Davidson, who has extensively reported on Trump's finances, explained.

Not only does Cohen's decision to lie about the project reflect a pattern of obstruction of justice, and not only does the existence of a long-running and secret Trump Tower Moscow project during the 2016 campaign suggest deep and troubling ties between the president and Russia, but the project itself was almost certainly supposed to be, in large part, a front for money laundering.

"I would say that any significant real estate development in Moscow is, almost by definition, part of a money laundering scheme," Davidson explained in a tweet. "The handful of big US companies that have tried to avoid money laundering went to enormous effort to do so."

And nothing about Trump's business history suggests he would go to great lengths to avoid a little thing like money laundering.

Davidson added: "But, EVEN FOR MOSCOW, the Trump Tower project seems highly suspect."

"It was fully based on a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy plus, let's bribe the president of Russia. No due diligence, no market research, no effort to pretend there was a business reason for the building," he continued.

In other words, it's almost impossible to conclude that the proposed Trump Tower Moscow wouldn't have been a massive vessel for money laundering. That plan was apparently scrapped, and Trump became president instead.
Didn’t I read something in the Washington Post a day or two ago about how Trump Mob operative Felix Sater, admitted that Trump wanted to give Putin a $50 million penthouse in the proposed Moscow Trump Tower not just as a bribe but also because “If we have Putin in the penthouse every oligarch in Russia would want to live in that building?”

Meanwhile Trumpworld is still whining about everything and anything they can find to whine about… like the timing of the investigation’s progress. Giuliani instill part of the Trumpanzee p.r. team and on Thursday he was babbling some nonsense about how it was “hardly coincidental” that Mueller made a dramatic legal move— the guilty plea of longtime Trump fixer Michael Cohen— “just as the President is leaving for a meeting with world leaders,” adding that the chief Russia investigator “did the very same thing as the President was leaving for a world summit in Helsinki.”
There’s no evidence that Mueller sought, in either case, to overshadow Trump’s travel. But the special counsel’s latest move has already forced Trump to denounce his former personal lawyer as a “liar” in remarks to reporters before his departure— and obscured Trump’s upcoming sit-down with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

It also increases the chances that a president who has proven irritable at past confabs of world leaders might say or do something rash in Buenos Aires. People close to the president warned that Trump is even more unpredictable when he’s angry, raising the possibility that he could go way off script here… “I don’t even think the president knows in advance what’s going to happen; neither do his senior advisors,” said one person who has worked on Trump’s trade strategy.

“The likelihood that there will be any number of story lines that could not be predicted in advance and weren’t written up in his national security briefing materials is pretty high,” a former senior Trump administration official said. “Who knows what it will be. The one safe prediction is that there is likely to be some significant news that will change the geopolitical dynamics and potentially move markets.”

The White House has plenty of experience with the president’s foreign trips not going according to plan. Trump’s November trip to Paris, for example, was overshadowed by the White House’s decision not to visit a U.S. military cemetery outside the city because of bad weather— a decision Trump later said he rued.

And administration officials still have painful flashbacks to the June G-7 summit in Canada, when an isolated Trump left early and declared via Twitter that he was backing out of a joint statement that had already been negotiated by the participating countries. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow noted dryly to reporters recently that his heart attack came after that chaotic meeting.

…Trump is tentatively scheduled to hold a solo news conference during the summit, according to an administration official— a forum that has created spectacles at past international events. The official stressed that the news conference could be scuttled.

“Without question, President Trump arrives at the G-20 as a very damaged and weak leader,” said former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, a frequent Trump critic.

Trump world calls such talk nonsense. The president’s closest advisers, including his family, feel that Cohen is a slimy character, and insist that Thursday’s plea deal is specific to Cohen’s situation, not an indicator that a slew of plea deals over lying to Congress is in the works, according to a source close to the president.

Whatever the long-term implications of Cohen’s plea, it casts a dark shadow over Trump at a summit that promised to be a chance for him to escape the D.C. gossip mill and change the political narrative in his favor.

Administration officials have touted a Saturday dinner with Xi, casting it as a make-or-break moment for the U.S.-China trade relations. Though senior aides have downplayed the prospect of a major breakthrough at the meeting, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that U.S. and Chinese officials are weighing a deal in which Trump holds off on imposing additional tariffs while the two nations continue trade negotiations.

Such an agreement would be an incremental victory, but it could be cast by the White House as a major development in a bid to paint Trump as victorious at the end of the summit.

Even a symbolic victory could be bittersweet, however, if Trump aides and officials are spooked about the prospect that others could be charged with the crime to which Cohen pleaded: lying to Congress. Those close to the president who have testified on Capitol Hill include his son, Donald Trump Jr., and several current or former top White House aides.

And it’s just looking worse and worse for Trump as the ramifications of all the disparate strands start coming together in a clear picture of a corrupt and bumbling regime in thrall to a Russian autocrat. At The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf wrote Friday morning that right from the very start, Trump’s reflexive dishonesty gave Putin instant leverage over him. That’s all coming to light as the Mueller investigation proceeds. Right after he was inaugurated, wrote Friedersdorf, Trump gave a combative press conference at which a reporter said he was hoping to get a “yes or no answer on these questions involving Russia. Can you say if you are aware that anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with Russia during the course of the election?” Trump doesn’t like being pinned down like that and he just started lying immediately: “Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia. Haven’t made a phone call to Russia in years. Don’t speak to people from Russia… I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does.” Oops!
That he lied has long been clear— all sorts of people with whom he dealt had extensive, well-documented dealings with Russia and Russians. But additional evidence that he lied was revealed Thursday during an appearance in federal court by his former attorney Michael Cohen, who admitted that he negotiated on Trump’s behalf to build a skyscraper in Moscow; that his efforts lasted until at least June 2016; that he briefed Trump and members of Trump’s family about the matter; and that he later lied to Congress, to avoid contradicting Trump’s political message.

Consider the implications. At the very beginning of Trump’s presidency, as soon as he lied in that press conference, Vladimir Putin and Russian intelligence possessed the ability to unmask Trump as a liar to the American public, revealing damaging information to Congress and the public about which they had previously been ignorant. BuzzFeed’s account of the negotiations involving a potential Trump Tower in Moscow hints at the wealth of documentary evidence that the Russians would possess to back up their claims.
And that was just the beginning. Trump kept lying about his connections to Russia— right up until today. “Perhaps the public,” speculated Friedersdorf, “will ultimately learn why Trump and some of his closest associates lied about business opportunities that they were pursing in Moscow during the 2016 election. But the mere fact that they did lie, for whatever reason, gave a powerful geopolitical adversary at least some leverage over an American president and his son.”

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At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

all of the above, plus some more.

But it doesn't matter.

We all know most of trump's crimes, including tax fraud and money laundering. There are credible allegations about Russian hookers and golden showers. There are believable accounts of gang rapes of underage women.

And there is the constant affirmation of mental illness(es).

But none of it matters.

Mueller could provide iron-clad proof. Pelosi won't impeach. she needs the cluster fuck of a shit show to continue in order to keep the anti-red ripple going until the 2020 election, hoping (delusionally) to repeat history (2008) again so that $hillbillary can finally become president as is her birthright.

At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In addition to the points presented by 7:25, the Republicans will rally around Trump and defend him. We have ample evidence that the GOP are not above using the dirtiest of tricks. And since they feel that their very existence is at stake, it's no holds barred.

So why does the GOP fear for their existence? The corporate media has begun revealing their excesses and flaws. As I see it, the corporate media ownership are willing to settle for the outrageous tax changes which gave them millions if not billions more in their own pockets. To prevent losing those sums, they are throwing the GOP overboard. At the same time, the corporate media is cheering on democrap efforts to be rid of progressives as well, but that's another story.

The GOP knows from experience how easily the typical American sheep can be led into the fold. Having the media lead the flock away from the GOP shepherd after 40 years is frightening to them. They will be out of control, and on the outs with the only means they would have to regain the power they are losing.

For the vast majority of Americans, the democraps are no improvement over Republicans. This nation will not be repaired or advanced under their control. Only some of the oligarchs stand to benefit from this change in power.

It's a big club, and We the People ain't in it.

At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

We can well suspect that the same b.s. applies to Saudi Arabia, which VERY LIKELY also has Trump over a barrel due to financial dealings and money laundering. Trump's pathetic political posturing about Saudia Arabia is surely due to MONEY ties with them - they must have huge kompromat on him. And Jared, big time.

When the hell will Wilbur Ross get into freaking trouble already? Money launderer personified! Tons of evidence already in public view.

And what about Justice Kennedy's son, who was responsible for loaning Trump hundred of billions for real estate at Deutsche Bank? Something VERY FISHY there, too. I suspect some quid pro quo with the father's retirement from the Supreme Court so Trump could appoint Kavanaugh. This all STINKS to high hell. Am I crazy?

The press has been great with all of this. Fabulous exposes. Too bad they waited until Trump was in office before they got serious about investigative reporting.


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