Russia Monitor: No, Honestly, More & More Americans Understand Trump Is A Liar

“You’re a fucking liar.”

— Former Trump lawyer John Dowd, “something he could not bring himself to say to the president”, from Bob Woodward’s ‘FEAR, Trump in the White House’.


By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (9/13/18)

Dear Fellow Readers,

Are Trump’s lies catching up with him? While most Americans somberly reflected on September 11 Trump managed to draw negative attention including much attention to past statements and claims about 9/11 over the years.

We’re reminded of Trump’s complete lack of empathy, in this instance he was interviewed that same day by Alan Marcus for WWOR: What Trump & Clinton Did On 9/11.

“40 Wall Street,” he said, referring to his 71-story building blocks away from the now-collapsed twin towers, “actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest—and then, when they built the World Trade Center, it became known as the second-tallest. And now it’s the tallest.”

Yep, according to Donald Trump the real news of the tragic, treacherous sneak attack on 9/11 was that Trump now had the tallest building in Manhattan, at least according to him. Trump watched part of the events of the day from his office, “staring four miles south.” 

“Trump said at a rally last fall in Ohio he “witnessed” people jumping out of the towers from his apartment four miles north in Manhattan. He said falsely he also had seen Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the attacks. “The World Trade Center came down during your brother’s reign,” Trump told Jeb Bush in a debate in the primaries earlier this year. He said in August his Muslim ban would have prevented 9/11—markedly different rhetoric from his interviews early on with WWOR, the New York Times and German TV.”

Maybe most egregious of all, Trump lied when he claimed to have “helped a little bit” in clearing rubble at ground zero– he didn’t:

“Everyone who helped clear the rubble — and I was there, and I watched, and I helped a little bit — but I want to tell you: Those people were amazing,” Trump said. “Clearing the rubble. Trying to find additional lives. You didn’t know what was going to come down on all of us — and they handled it.”

Who knew that Trump was such a liar? Anyone who paid attention knew Trump was a liar. Now it turns out the vast majority agrees: Trump is a liar. People Don’t Think Donald Trump Is Honest Or Trustworthy. And They Never Really Have.

That’s right, only 32% of us trust Trump to be “honest and trustworthy” according to a recent CNN Poll conducted by SSRS.

As Greg Sargent noted in a piece in the Washington Post, his poll result is not an outlier; since we first reported a significant negative change in Trump’s approval ratings there are a handful of confirming polls: The Anti-Trump Backlash Is Gathering Force. These New Polls Confirm It.

Sargent offers up a great summary with his opening remarks:

“The anti-Trump backlash is about to collide violently with the GOP’s structural, counter-majoritarian advantages in this election — and the winner of the clash will decide whether President Trump will be subjected to genuine oversight or will effectively be given even freer reign to unleash more corruption and more authoritarianism, while expanding his cruel, ethnonationalist and plutocratic agenda.”

Sargent explains and cites results from three new polls – Quinnipiac University, CNN and NPR-Marist – that paint a challenging picture for Trump and the Russpublicans in the mid-term elections.

Sargent opened with a great summary and concludes with another great summary:

“What is remarkable about the current moment is the degree to which Trump’s attacks on our institutions appear to be failing, both as a self-defensive tool and perhaps even as a midterm strategy.”


Trump stain spreads

Trump’s lying is getting a lot of well-deserved attention and it’s dragging down the Russpublicans and exposing their craven complicity as well: Another Big Woodward Reveal: Trump’s Bottomless Bad Faith & Nonstop Lying.

Woodward’s book opens with a meeting in 2010 between Trump, former Trump senior adviser Steve Bannon and Republican activist and inventor of Clinton ‘scandals’ David Bossie. Bossie convinces Bannon to meet Trump for a first time. The entire exchange has Trump lying, to which Bossie corrects him. As an example:

Bossie: Actually you’ve never voted in a primary except for one in your entire life.

Trump: That’s a fucking lie. That’s a total lie. Every time I get to vote, I voted.

Bossie: You only voted in one primary. It was like in 1988 or something, in the Republican primary.

Trump: You’re right. That was for Rudy.

Trump adamantly denies and lies only to emotionlessly pivot and head off in a new direction.

Woodward cites an example we’re all familiar with and one that may well bite Trump in the ass. As we know, the White House released a memo written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that they claimed was the rationale for firing former FBI Director James Comey:

“But Woodward also reports that Trump had made the decision to fire Comey well before this episode. Woodward recounts that Trump had previously told two top advisers: “Don’t try to talk me out of it, because I’ve made my decision, so don’t even try.””

We of course all remember Trump’s subsequent interview with NBC host Lester Holt where Trump tells Holt he planned to fire Comey regardless of the recommendations. Because of “Russia”. 

Of course we also know that in spite of the televised interview, Trump denies firing Comey because of Russia: “I never fired James Comey because of Russia,” the president said in a tweet.

Trump is not like us. Trump can pivot from one lie to the next seamlessly in a flash while seemingly believing each lie at the moment and demonstrating no confusion or appreciation of his conflicted versions.


Only the best … rats

But now Trump can’t even trust the people around him: How Many Benedict Arnolds Can One Administration Hold?

In the column Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank opens with two Trump accusations of treason, with Milbank describing these as “two Benedict Arnolds” in Trump’s administration:

““This is treason,” Trump informed his then-economic adviser, Gary Cohn, when Cohn attempted to resign after Trump’s nice words for neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, according to Woodward’s book.

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions, likewise, was pronounced a “traitor” by Trump for recusing himself from the Russia investigation.”

There is now a third White House Benedict Arnold, with Trump tweeting, “TREASON?” following the anonymous Op-Ed piece published by the New York Times.

The world is black or white in Trumpland with news Trump doesn’t dismissed as fake news and people Trump doesn’t like as traitors: Donald Trump Jr. Says His Father Can’t Trust Everyone Around Him After The Anonymous Op-ed.

“Donald Trump Jr. acknowledged in an interview broadcast Tuesday that his father can trust fewer people around him than he would like in the wake of an anonymous op-ed claiming there is a “resistance” within the Trump administration.

““I think there are people in there that he can trust, it’s just — it’s a much smaller group than I would like it to be,” the president’s eldest son said in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America.””

The walls are closing in. How is this happening after Trump promised to have only the “best people in his administration? Aren’t they the best?

You know, guys like 33 year-old adviser Stephen Miller: ‘You’ve set back the Jewish contribution’: Stephen Miller’s Former Rabbi Issues Fiery Rebuke On Rosh Hashanah.

Just after the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year celebration there was this from White House adviser Stephen Miller’s Rabbi:

“…one religious leader took the holiday as an opportunity to send a message to a man who he said was a former congregant: presidential adviser Stephen Miller. In a fiery sermon that has now been covered by news outlets around the world, Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels of Beth Shir Shalom, a synagogue in Santa Monica, Calif., where Miller grew up, denounced Miller for his role in the proposal that resulted in the family separation crisis at the border, questioning how his values diverged so sharply from the congregation’s.

““The actions that you now encourage President Trump to take make it obvious to me that you didn’t get my or our Jewish message,” Comess-Daniels said. “That notion is completely antithetical to everything I know about Judaism, Jewish law and Jewish values.””

Miller gets called out by his Rabbi for his role in family separations. Anyone else ready to take hits in the Trump White House? This from a Commoner Call reader: Another Book Is Set To Roil The White House Right Before The Midterms – And This One Takes Aim At Jared Kushner.

“Less than one month after the release of Bob Woodward’s new book Fear, a second Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter is releasing a new book attacking President Donald Trump for the “crime of the century,” the Washington Examiner reported Wednesday

“The Amazon pre-order page for the upcoming book describes “a foreign government, led by a brutal authoritarian leader, secretly interfering with the American presidential election to help elect the candidate of its choice” in what has been described as “the political crime of the century.””

The book promises “striking new information” about “the attempt by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, to create a secret backchannel to Moscow using Russian diplomatic facilities.””

So what is Lyin’ Trump and his Benedict Arnolds up against? Should they be worried? Vanity Fair offers a suggestion: “BOB IS NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING”: INSIDE THE MUELLER-GIULIANI CHESS MATCH

The sub-head for Abigail Tracy’s article is:Mueller’s former colleagues say he is always two steps ahead—and will see his job through to the bitter end.


Don & Rudy show running into trouble

Trump is in trouble. His ‘Benedict Arnolds’ may be the least of his worries at this point. First question, will Trump ever meet with Mueller?

““The whole thing has been a charade, and Giuliani is playing for what he ultimately believes may be an impeachment hearing. He is trying to win the hearts and minds of the people. . . . all of this negotiating is pure nonsense,” Glenn Kirschner, a former homicide prosecutor, told me, dismissing the notion that Giuliani and the rest of Trump’s legal team will ever allow the president to go toe-to-toe with Mueller. “I joke that if you ask the president 10 questions, he probably picks up nine false-statement charges after the first question, which is state your name. I am assuming that he can get that one right, but we have all seen the man—he is a showman, and not a particularly good showman.””

But Trump and Giuliani’s “charade” is not winning “hearts and minds of the people”. Does it really matter if Mueller never gets a meeting with Trump?

“Of course, Mueller’s position could also be political theater. Giuliani appears to be betting that Mueller won’t want to engage in a months- or years-long legal battle over whether a sitting president can be subpoenaed. But it is just as likely that Mueller figured an interview was always a long shot, and has been playing along, in part, to establish that their negotiations were always in good faith. “Mueller wants to at least give the appearance that he is giving the president every opportunity to have his side heard,” explained Kirschner, who reported to Mueller as a prosecutor in the late 1990s. “Because if he doesn’t do that, then when the report is issued or the indictment is handed down, what are the president’s lawyers going to say? They are going to say, this didn’t take his side into account.””

So we’re all set up for the mid-term elections. Mueller is unlikely to subpoena any high-level targets before the elections. Trump is unlikely to fire Attorney General Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions III before the elections. But after that – all bets are off.

We’ll end by repeating a comment from Greg Sargent for the Washington Post:

“…the winner of the clash will decide whether President Trump will be subjected to genuine oversight or will effectively be given even freer reign to unleash more corruption and more authoritarianism, while expanding his cruel, ethnonationalist and plutocratic agenda.”


Vote for oversight.

Vote for accountability.