“President Trump promised he’d only hire ‘the best people’. Did he?”
— MSNBC news headline (8/15/18)
By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (8/16/18)
Dear Fellow Readers,
Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort has been in court facing 18 charges of bank fraud and lying to the IRS. We await the verdict: Paul Manafort’s Tax- And Bank-Fraud Case Is Heading To The Jury.
If convicted, Manafort could go to prison for life. Not only did Manafort not testify, his defense team did not call a single witness.
There is much made of Manafort’s trial having no bearing on Trump or the Trump White House, but there is the curious case of Manafort promising a banker, Stephen Calk, consideration as Army Secretary in conjunction with a $16 million loan. Again, no connection, right? But, here’s what MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reported just a few days ago:
“Here’s the Jared Kushner email to Manafort saying “On it!” in response to Manafort recommending for Army Secretary a bank exec who just approved $16m in loans to him. It’s exhibit #502.”
If you click on the link you’ll find an email from Manafort to Trump senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. The email is sent after Manafort left the White House, and the banker is one of three candidates for Army Secretary touted by Manafort. It had also already been disclosed through media reports that Manafort was under FBI scrutiny.
To which Kushner replies, “On it!”
Grifters gonna grift. Is everyone in the Trump White House a crook or does it just seem that way?
Who would have pegged Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross as a pathological liar (as reported recently) and a fraudster? But, as reported in ‘, here he is again, this time taking steps to benefit a company, Greenbriar Companies, to his own advantage as he still owned stock he “did not know he owned”.
“A unearthed in the report shows that Greenbrier Companies did in fact come before the commerce department during Ross’ tenure as secretary. Twelve days after the May 18, 2017 meeting, Furman wrote a letter to the department, expressing concern over how Ross’ investigation into steel imports might affect Greenbrier’s supply of railcar axles and wheels imported from Japan. One day after Furman sent the letter, Ross sold part of his stake in Greenbrier, which he had not previously disclosed owning. Seven months later, Ross sold another chunk of Greenbrier stock, ultimately suggesting that he took so long to sell the shares because he did not know he owned them. In its report, the Campaign Legal Center called that explanation “implausible.””
The Ever Vengeful Prick
We will not make the effort to cover every sideshow distraction of Trump and ‘His Best People’. Because former Trump adviser Omaraosa Manigault has in a very Trumpian fashion milked her 15 minutes of fame into a week or more, she’s earned a call out: Omarosa Defends Secret Taping: ‘Everyone In The Trump World Lies’.
A wise person predicted, if a Trump tape surfaces with him using the “n-word” it would just remove the penalties for using the word – all who so choose will be given the opportunity.
But there is this admission that passes the sniff test:
“Host (CBS Morning News) John Dickerson flatly asked Omarosa why she felt the need to secretly tape so many discussions, to which she plainly replied that she felt the need to cover her back. Why? “Because everyone in the Trump world lies,” she proclaimed.”
More serious but also not a game changer…. The New York Times reported Trump’s decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director James Brennan. According to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckleberry Sanders there is a list of others that may be revoked as well, including former acting attorney general Sally Yates, former Obama attorney general Susan Rice and more.
And Pierce ties both stories together with this summary:
“It’s not like Brennan’s using classified material to condemn the president* for calling Omarosa Manigault Newman a “dog.” That the president* is a thin-skinned vengeful prick is not exactly EYES ONLY material.”
Yep, vengeful pricks — even as president — will be vengeful.
How about a prediction?
The Russia Monitor going out on a limb here to predict the next person indicted by special counsel Mueller will be…
Former Richard Nixon aide and diehard fanboy Roger Stone is a longtime associate of Trump and former business partner of Paul Manafort. Watching Stone through the campaign and up til now it looks as if Stone is irritated it’s taken this long to be indicted given his Herculean efforts.
“As Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference churns on, the list of individuals the special counsel hasn’tinterviewed is arguably as interesting as those he has. And given his communications with WikiLeaks and Russian hacker Guccifer 2.0, and longtime confidant Roger Stone ranks near the top.”
That’s right, given all the Trump distractions, we need a reminder, special counsel Mueller is still investigating Trump-Russia collaboration and it turns out, Trump’s attacks on Mueller are not moving the needle of public opinion in his favor – Trump is losing: As Trump Keeps Raging A Mueller, Another Poll Shows His Lies Are Failing.
Trump magic is winning the day, or so many people say or fear. But for another view:
“One place this constantly manifests itself is with special counsel Robert S. Mueller’s III’s investigation: If Mueller’s approval falls a few points, a throng of pundits and hand-wringing liberals rushes forth to tell us that Trump is “winning” his battle with Mueller.
“But what if public opinion about Trump and the Russia probe is a lot simpler than we think? What if the story is that large majorities think Trump is probably guilty of some sort of wrongdoing; believe that Mueller’s investigation is legitimately in keeping with the rule of law and is pursuing matters that are important to the public interest; want Trump to face questioning over these matters; don’t like Trump’s constant attacks on the investigation; and believe Trump has been trying to interfere with the probe and has been steadily lying about it all along?”
In round numbers, 55-60% of respondents support Mueller across a battery of questions about Trump interference, truthfulness and even Trump’s knowledge of campaign contacts with Russians. And 35% of respondents disagree and support Trump.
For all Trump’s bluster, he’s not moving the needle – polling says we want to see what Mueller has and we imagine it is NOT good for Trump.
Only The ‘Best People’ … stay away
In his recently published book, former Republican strategist and Daily Beast commentator Rick Wilson scans the smoldering, barren horizon of Trumplandia and sees a feral pack of greedy grifters, pathological liars, Russpublicans, vengeful pricks – a clown car of self-serving corrupt and vnasty people: Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever.
We can’t be rid of him fast enough.
One myth busted above was about Trump’s winning the publicity war against Mueller. But another myth deserving of busting is that Russpublicans will finally come around and turn on Trump when they see the goods. Russpublican history is not on our side: The Myth Of Watergate Bipartisanship.
The sub-head says it all, “the Republicans stuck with their president, right up to the end”.
“Reporters and political commentators often express frustrated surprise at the steadfast support of President Trump from most Republicans in the House and Senate. But they shouldn’t — it has happened before.
“In fact, when these critics refer back to the Watergate era as a time of bipartisan commitment to the rule of law over politics, they get it exactly wrong. Defending the president at all costs, blaming investigators and demonizing journalists was all part of the Republican playbook during the political crisis leading up to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.”
It’s a good read and a reminder. If we want to get rid of Trump, it helps to take back control of the House and Senate, so…
Make sure now that you are registered to vote in November.
Questions About Voting?
Wisconsin Voter FAQ, Link Here.
(Commoner Call cartoons and photo by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )