Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Under The Bus! And Don't They All Deserve It!


Trump is hardly the first corrupt politician who greased his way into the White House and then illegally sold position, particularly ambassadorships to countries that matter very little. But only Trump was stupid enough to leave a written trail for law enforcement. And, of course, Trump has done it more than any other White House occupant. Most presidents use some ambassadorial posts to reward supporters, the way Trump has with the latest wealthy skank Newt Gingrich married (Vatican City). But yesterday CBS News exposed a pay-to-play scheme that could land some people in prison and has already ended the still-born diplomatic career of Doug Machester.

Papa Doug

Manchester is a wealthy and crooked developer in San Diego with the reputation of as a shady wheeler-dealer, so... right up Trump's alley. He's been bribing Republicans for years:
September 30, 2015- $50,000 to a Trump's shady superPAC
August 31, 2011- $25,000 to a Mitt Romney SuperPAC
October 16, 2014- $10,000 to the NRCC
May 6, 2015- 10,000 to a Carly Fiorina SuperPAC
March 21, 2016- $10,000 to the San Diego County Central Committee
May 15, 2014- $10,000 to the Republican Party of San Diego
June 10, 2016- $5,000 to the Republican Party of San Diego
August 28, 2013- $5,000 to a Marco Rubio SuperPAC
He also maxed out to Darrell Issa (at least 6 times), Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio (3 times) and several others. But Trump doesn't sell ambassadorships for $50,000. Trump had Ronna Romney (AKA- RNC chair Ronna McDaniel) hit Manchester up for another half million dollars, after he wrote a check to Trump's inauguration committee, money that is unaccounted for and widely believed translated right into Trump's own bank account.

Trump offered Papa Doug," as Manchester was known in GOP circles, the ambassadorship the day after the inauguration. BUT... while the confirmation was working its way through the Senate, McDaniel told him to write another $500,000 check, this one for the RNC. He refused and that was the end of the nomination, which stalled for 2-and-a-half years in MoscowMitch's corrupt sewer-Senate. "That’s part of politics. It’s unbelievable. You give and you give and you give and you give some more and more and more," Manchester told CBS News. He offered McDaniel a $100,000 check from his wife instead... if MoscowMitch had him confirmed. That never happened and Trump withdrew the nomination last week. Once Manchester basically ratted McDaniel out, to CBS she had the RNC return a small part of the money Papa Doug has given them.

OK, so Trump is selling ambassadorships. Big surprise! Not. Right now about half of the U.S. ambassadors bought their posts, including putting money into Trump's pockets directly (via Mar-A-Lago memberships) and schemes like that. And Pompeo seems perfectly fine with it. Maybe he'll change his tune now that Trump is increasingly turning venomous towards him.

Under The Bus by Nancy Ohanian

An all-star NBC News team-- Carol E. Lee, Courtney Kube and Andrea Mitchell-- reported that Trump is getting on Pompeo's case over the diplomats testifying against him in the House. "Trump," they wrote, "has fumed for weeks that Pompeo is responsible for hiring State Department officials whose congressional testimony threatens to bring down his presidency, the officials said. The president confronted Pompeo about the officials-- and what he believed was a lackluster effort by the secretary of state to block their testimony-- during lunch at the White House on Oct. 29, those familiar with the matter said. Inside the White House, the view was that Trump 'just felt like, rein your people in,' a senior administration official said. Trump particularly blames Pompeo for tapping Ambassador Bill Taylor in June to be the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, the current and former senior administration officials said."
A crack in the seemingly unbreakable bond between Trump and Pompeo is striking because Pompeo, a former Kansas congressman, is viewed as the “Trump whisperer” who has survived-- and thrived-- working for a president who has routinely tired of and discarded senior members of his team.

But the impeachment inquiry has put Pompeo in what one senior administration official described as an untenable position: trying to manage a bureaucracy of 75,000 people that has soured on his leadership and also please a boss with outsized expectations of loyalty.

“He feels like he's getting a bunch of blame from the president and the White House for having hired all these people who are turning against Trump,” an official familiar with the dynamic said of Pompeo, “and that it's the State Department that is going to bring him down, so it's all Pompeo's fault.”

...Trump has hinted publicly at tensions with Pompeo, and while the comments might go unnoticed by the untrained ear they’ve been heard loudly by people close to the president.

The first was on Oct. 23, officials said, when Trump wrote on Twitter: “It would be really great if the people within the Trump Administration, all well-meaning and good (I hope!), could stop hiring Never Trumpers, who are worse than the Do Nothing Democrats. Nothing good will ever come from them!”

Trump followed up with another tweet specifically calling Taylor, and his lawyer, "Never Trumpers."

Two days later, Trump said Pompeo “made a mistake” in hiring Taylor.

“Here’s the problem: He's a never Trumper, and his lawyer is,” the president told reporters about Taylor. “The other problem is-- hey, everyone makes mistakes-- Mike Pompeo. Everybody makes mistakes.”

The next day, Oct. 26, Pompeo was notably absent as the president sat with his national security team during the U.S. military raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Pompeo was not informed about the raid until late Friday after he was home in Kansas for his son’s friend’s wedding, officials said.

Throughout the impeachment inquiry, Pompeo and Trump have maintained their weekly lunches at the White House, according to the president’s public schedule.

But the president was angry when he arrived in his private dining room on Oct. 29, two officials said. Pompeo defended himself, officials said, by telling Trump he doesn’t know who half of these State Department officials are, officials said. He also noted that there are thousands of employees at the agency, explaining that he can’t control them, those familiar with the matter said.

...The tension with Trump comes as Pompeo weighs whether to leave the administration to run for Kansas’ open Senate seat.

Pompeo has served in the administration since its start. Trump tapped him as CIA director, then moved him to secretary of state after he fired Pompeo’s predecessor, Rex Tillerson. For almost three years, Pompeo seamlessly navigated a finicky president. He’s remained, and became more influential, as Trump churned through two chiefs of staff, three national security advisers, an attorney general, and secretaries of defense, state, labor, homeland security, interior, veterans affairs and health and human services.

But in recent weeks Pompeo has been under steady fire over his role in the Ukraine scandal, as well as his handling of it.

Initially when the Ukraine controversy became public, Trump wanted Pompeo to publicly defend him against the State Department bureaucracy, officials said. But the White House thought Pompeo appeared unprepared in his television interviews, and his performance only fueled the president’s frustrations, they said.

Pompeo has faced criticism for saying, during an interview on ABC’s This Week, that he didn’t know anything about the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that is at the center of the controversy. Pompeo didn’t disclose until more than a week later that he had listened in on that call.

Like the White House, he has attempted to block State Department officials from testifying. And he has refused to turn over State Department documents related to Ukraine.

His decision last week, however, to allow the State Department to help pay for the legal fees that officials ensnared in the impeachment inquiry are accruing could further strain his relationship with the president.

That decision underscores the balance Pompeo is trying to strike between the president and the department he leads.

State Department officials had thought Pompeo’s move to the agency in April 2018 would be a welcome antidote to what they viewed as the bureaucratic fecklessness of Tillerson, given Pompeo’s unfettered access to Trump and their close relationship.

But morale at the State Department has sagged for months, and it plummeted further as the Ukraine scandal unfolded, according to multiple officials.

State Department officials are critical of Pompeo for buckling to pressure from the president and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and abruptly recalling Yovanovitch while she was serving as U.S. ambassador in Ukraine. Yovanovitch had been vilified by Giuliani, who convinced the president she was working against his interests.

Criticism of Pompeo inside the State Department escalated when he refused to publicly defend Yovanovitch after a reconstructed transcript of the July 25 call revealed Trump disparaged Yovanovitch to Zelenskiy, administration officials have said. Pompeo’s closest aide, Ambassador Mike McKinley, resigned over the secretary’s refusal to defend Yovanovitch.

Testimony from Taylor and others show Pompeo was keenly aware of the concerns his top officials had about Giuliani’s efforts and his handling of Yovanovitch.

In public testimony on Friday, Yovanovitch appeared to excoriate Pompeo for “the failure of State Department leadership to push back as foreign and corrupt interests apparently hijacked our Ukraine policy.”

“It is the responsibility of the department's leaders to stand up for the institution and the individuals who make that institution the most effective diplomatic force in the world,” she said.

According to administration officials, Pompeo’s refusal to publicly defend Yovanovitch cemented a wider view within the State Department that he has enabled some of Trump’s impulsive foreign policy decisions, such as the withdrawal of U.S. special forces from Syria after a phone call with Turkey’s Erdgoan.

“Pompeo is hated by his building,” a person close to the secretary said, adding that he “feels the heat a great deal and feels it’s personal at state.”

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At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What law enforcement? I still see no way for the Democrats to get MockbaMitch to actually allow Republicans to vote to impeach.

With MAGAts, the attitude is essentially "Me ne frego". Trump may well have damaged the economy enough for it to affect MAGAts directly. "Me ne frego" Whatever it is that he does, "Me ne frego" as long as it doesn't affect them. They like how he's promoting White Supremacy even if he's broken his empty promise to bring the jobs back. As long as he nominates judges who will revoke Roe v Wade and return women to being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, "Me ne frego" that he still attacks women in ways that would get the rest of us sent to jail.

There is no rule of law in this nation. That ended 11/22/63.

At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting. state still has pros who hate partisan shitheads like pompeo. I wonder how they really felt about $hillbillary and Kerry.

bush also openly rewarded big donors with ambassadorships. It was only a little unseemly back then. now it's illegal?
Clinton, bush, obamanation all rewarded wall street's massive $upport with postings to control monetary policy and the economy.

it's called corruption. it's both parties. it's smelliest at the top but the stench goes all the way down. both parties. you think biden will do it differently... you are a fool. Ambassadorships are a major revenue source for the winning president's party. always has been.

if you are ok with this, definitely vote for the less worse of the existing parties.

if you want better, neither party will ever help. never. ever.


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