AuthorTopic: 🤡 Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread  (Read 132308 times)

Offline Eddie

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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #1635 on: November 28, 2018, 09:24:35 AM »
I can dream, can't I?
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline agelbert

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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #1636 on: November 29, 2018, 09:22:26 AM »
Thom Hartmann thinks Trump 😈 is doing the Nixon (pretending to be totally nuts dangerous for negotiation purposes) strategy combined with the Goebbels dictate for Hitler. 👹

Goebbels told Hitler, in no uncertain terms, that they could control the populace, even though they had minority support, IF, and ONLY if, they kept everyone off balance. The other advice Goebbels is mostly known for is the Big Lie. Actually, Goebbels proposed both those ethicallly bankrupt strategies as part of a formula to achieve dictatorial power.

This required food fights, spats (real or not), outrageous demands, etc. to dominate the news cycle while a lot of 'progress' on their heinous plans went on behind the scenes until total dictatorial power was obtained.

I think Trump is following that script. I think the Koch Brothers 🦕🦖 handed it to him.


"One longtime Koch lieutenant characterized the overall strategy of Koch's libertarian funding over the years with both a theatrical metaphor and an Austrian capital theory one: Politicians, ultimately, are just actors playing out a script. The idea is, one gets better and quicker results aiming not at the actors but at the scriptwriters, to help supply the themes and words for the scripts – to try to influence the areas where policy ideas percolate from: academia and think tanks. Ideas, then, are the capital goods that go into building policy as a finished product – and there are insufficient libertarian capital goods at the top of the structure of production to build the policies libertarians demand."

Read more:

The political activities of the Koch brothers include the financial and political influence of Charles G. 🦕 and David H. 🦖 Koch on United States politics.

An interesting documentary on Nixon. It leaves some important stuff out, of course. BUT, it does offer some clues about nixon's behavior not many people know about:

Reputations: The Secret World of Richard Nixon, Part One (BBC, 2000)


<a href="" target="_blank" class="new_win"></a>

Jack Graham

Published on Aug 12, 2016

The first of a two part Reputations special, originally aired on BBC 2 in 2000.  This episode reveals Nixon's dangerous and unstable private personality, and how it deformed his political career and presidency.


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Jack Graham

Published on Aug 12, 2016

The second of a two part Reputations special, originally aired on BBC 2 in 2000.  This episode reveals Nixon's conspiracy to sabotage the 1968 peace talks with Vietnam in order to extend the war, allowing a Nixon election victory later that same year at the cost of thousands of preventable deaths.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 09:32:51 AM by agelbert »
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Offline RE

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🤡 Air New Zealand Christmas ad replicates Trump's U.N. laughter moment
« Reply #1637 on: November 30, 2018, 07:16:40 AM »
 :icon_mrgreen: :icon_mrgreen: :icon_mrgreen:


World News
November 29, 2018 / 7:45 PM / Updated 9 hours ago
Air New Zealand Christmas ad replicates Trump's U.N. laughter moment

2 Min Read

A child wearing a "Make Christmas Great Again" cap speaks in this still image from an undated Air New Zealand advertisement obtained from social media. Air New Zealand/via REUTERS

(Reuters) - An Air New Zealand advertisement released for the Christmas season this week takes a dig at U.S. President Donald Trump by portraying an American boy wearing a “Make Christmas Great Again” red cap being laughed at by other children on Santa’s “naughty” list.

The three-minute advert beckoning travelers with a Christmas greeting from “the nicest place on earth” sees Santa accidentally emailing his 2018 list of naughty children to a student in New Zealand named Elvis Anderson instead of his elves at the North Pole.

Sitting in detention, Anderson gets the idea of gathering the naughty kids from around the world to fix the problem, and calls on New Zealand’s national carrier to help transport the children to the summit on the country’s North Island.

Each child representing a country makes promises to change their behavior for the better by eating more vegetables, reducing flatulence and cutting down on hair-pulling.

The American boy, dressed in a two-piece suit and red sloganed cap, says he is not naughty at all and is the nicest person he knows, provoking laughter from the other children, reminiscent of the reaction to Trump’s speech to the U.N. General Assembly in September, when he spoke about the achievements of his administration.

“I didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s okay”, the boy adds in the advertisement, the same words Trump used at the United Nations.

Further pledges to be good from Anderson, including one to be nicer to neighboring Australia made with his fingers crossed behind his back to suggest he doesn’t intend to keep the promise, pushes a meter to “Nice” for the children, and confetti rains down as they celebrate.
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Offline RE

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Re: 🤡 Air New Zealand Christmas ad replicates Trump's U.N. laughter moment
« Reply #1638 on: November 30, 2018, 07:28:45 AM »
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🤡 Trumpland: Get Ready for the Storm Ahead
« Reply #1639 on: December 02, 2018, 01:25:03 AM »

November 30, 2018
Trumpland: Get Ready for the Storm Ahead   
by Andrew Levine

Photo Source Billie Grace Ward | CC BY 2.0

The feeling is palpable: with the Christmas recess coming to Capitol Hill, and then with Democrats about to take over the House, a whole lot of shit is about to hit the proverbial fan.

So far, this is only a feeling. It is anybody’s guess in what form (or forms) it will come, and exactly when to start ducking.

However, the circumstances surrounding the impending shit storm are clear enough, at least in broad outline, despite the miasma Trump and his minions exude.

For one, the Republican Party, especially but not only at the national level, has become the Party of Trump. The party Ronald Reagan fashioned is done for, finished, kaput.

This is not to say that Reaganites have gone extinct like, say, Eisenhower or Rockefeller Republicans. If anything, they are thriving like never before.  But the Grand Old Party is Trump’s, not theirs.

Before Trump, practically anything that diminished the power of the Reaganite old guard was welcome news. No longer.  The Trump Party is many times more odious than what it replaced.

It is stupider, more corrupt, more retrograde, and more lacking in fundamental human decency. Witness the family separations and the tear-gassing of asylum seekers and their children along the Mexican border. Being even worse than, the GOP in the Tea Party -Mitt Romney days is no mean achievement, but there it is.

The pre-Trump and post-Trump GOPs are fruit of the same poison tree – the Southern Strategy, the plan Pat Buchanan and Richard Nixon hatched in the aftermath of the civil rights victories of the 1960s to reconstitute the Solid South of the Jim Crow era within the bowels of the Republican Party.

It is no surprise, therefore, that they would both be contemptible.  But GOP racism and nativism used to be muted; that was the Reagan and post-Reagan style. The Trumpian version rings loud enough to revive the vilest specters of the twentieth century’s inter-war years. Even classical anti-Semitism, all but defunct for many decades, is back.

Had Reaganism gone down with the Reaganite GOP leadership, we could at least credit Trump for having done something useful.  However, under his aegis, just the opposite has occurred.  Trump is in the White House but the dregs of the old order are still calling the shots.

This is happening because Trump is an empty shell of a conman who only wants to work his con – the better to enrich himself and the idiot children Ivana bore him, and to stoke the flames of his own overarching, narcissism-fueled, vanity.

To that end, he seems to have found that, for him, the best, perhaps the only, way to move forward is to put unreconstructed Reaganites in key policy positions, giving them carte blancheto do what they want, so long as they pay him homage.  They run the show, but they serve at his pleasure and dare not cross him.

Thus the actual governing is being done by miscreants who think, as the Gipper put it, that “government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.”   They also think, as Reagan did, that the way to deal with government is to disable it by impoverishing it, to “starve the beast.”

Their miserliness has limits, however; it only applies to those parts of government that serve socially useful purposes.

Abandoning all pretenses of fiscal conservatism, they think that the parts that keep the military-industrial complex in business or that keep all but the hyper-rich in line through the use or threat of force ought to get heaps of money thrown their way.

With admirable transparency, the pre-Trump GOP did its best to starve the beast in plain sight. Democrats were on board with that too. Thus every American president after Reagan followed his lead; they were all Reaganites under the skin.

Indeed, the most Reaganite president of all was Bill Clinton.  No one did more to implement “the Reagan agenda”; not either Bush and not Reagan himself.

Obama rode the Reaganite wave too, making a mockery of what Sarah Palin aptly called “ that hopey changey thing.”

His “drain the swamp” bluster aside, Trump hasn’t broken the mold either, though he did introduce a new wrinkle, making the Reaganite consensus even worse.  Being terminally lazy and having no interest in governance, he accomplished this feat by letting House and Senate Republicans have their way.

Sometimes they indulged their passion for retrograde symbolic gestures, as when they would vote time and again to repeal Obamacare; sometimes they used their power to exacerbate already monumental levels of income and wealth inequality and to sow the seeds of fiscal crises ahead, as when they got massive tax cuts for the rich enacted into law.

And sometimes, spurred on by Mitch McConnell’s villainy, they used their power to pack the federal judiciary with troglodytes.   Because judges hold lifetime appointments, the resulting harm will require generations to overcome.

Trump takes credit for any and all of this, whenever he deems it in his interest.  However, all he has really done is empower others to get their own pet projects through; there is nothing more to the so-called Trump agenda than that.

Like Bill Clinton’s, Trump’s Reaganism is opportunistic.  In Clinton’s case, this often involved traducing his own convictions; in Trump’s, this would be out of the question because the man has no convictions, only mean spirited attitudes and prejudices.  Trump is also lazy.  In the circumstances in which he is operating now, letting dedicated Reaganites have their way is the path of least resistance.

And so, he has fallen into what Fintan O’Toole, writing in the December 6 edition of The New York Review of Books calls “a strategy of incompetence.”

Trump puts second- or third-rate people in charge of government departments and agencies whose missions they oppose, and then, as much as possible in a system in which most federal workers still have union and civil service protections, they go on to staff positions under them with yet more incompetent, similarly minded underlings. Or they leave crucial positions vacant for as long as they can.

At some level, Trumpians seem to understand that what they are doing would be wildly unpopular if honestly exposed.  They realize that the more they starve the beast out of the public’s sight, the better off they, and Trump, will be.

There is an additional benefit for them in taking that route: by making government incompetent, they further undermine the loss of “faith” in it that made Reaganism possible.  It is a vicious cycle that, from their point of view, seems virtuous.

Needless to say, this is not at all what the slogan “Make America Great Again” suggests.

Quite to the contrary, bona fide authoritarians, fascist and otherwise, want and need a strong state — in extreme cases, a totalitarian state.  The non-state, market mechanisms neoliberals glorify diminish the power they crave.

Trump is with full-fledged authoritarians on police power, and on fawning over all things military, especially parades – he is, after all, a little boy in an old man’s body.  He is emphatically not with them, however, on according economic power to the state over market mechanisms; that is for neoliberal ideologues, not Mussolini wannabes.

For reasons that reflect poorly on their moral and mental capacities, this plays well with the Trump base.  It doesn’t even bother them that Trump cannot keep himself from bad mouthing military and veterans’ leaders whenever it comes to his attention that they have failed to pay him the respect he considers his due.

This has been happening a lot lately, because the Donald doesn’t seem to realize that he is doing himself no good.  Or perhaps he just enjoys playing with fire.

Going after judges is even more reckless, but, again, Trump cannot help himself.

It hardly matters that, on this, as on so much else, Trump is often more right – almost always for the wrong reasons — than the mainstream defenders of the old order who deride him for his indifference to longstanding norms of presidential behavior.

Trump’s antics elicit sanctimonious calls for decorum from all quarters.  Even such a generally deferential arch-conservative as Chief Justice John Roberts rebuked him for going after an “Obama judge” in a recent tweet, insisting that there are no Obama or Bush or Clinton judges, just good, hared working, impartial jurists dedicated to administering equal justice under law.

Could Roberts have been channeling the speech to the 2004 Democratic convention that brought Barack Obama to national attention, the one in which he declared that there are neither “red” states nor “blue” states, just United States?  Or perhaps the lesson just is that decorous minds think alike.

Another lesson might be that thinking decorously is not the same as thinking lucidly.

Would Roberts deny that there are now five, highly partisan Republican Justices on the Supreme Court he leads?  How can he not see himself on the same page as them?

And what about the judges Trump and McConnell are in such haste to confirm, and the Trump judges confirmed already?  The differences between them and the others, even those appointed by Reagan or the two Bushes, are not just political.  Trump judges are more pernicious.

No doubt, Trump is counting on them to keep him out of prison.  Even so, attacking the referee, while the game is still in process, is not a wise move, especially insofar as the referees are committed to upholding the dignity of the office they hold.  Roberts plainly is; some of the others surely are as well.

It is not impossible that Trump’s attacks on judges will prove too much even for the two Supremes Trump has inflicted upon us, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, and for other Trump judicial appointees.  If so, the Donald might have inadvertently impeded the illiberal drift of the policies he encourages.  What a magnificent irony that would be!

Trump’s attack on truth tellers and on truth could backfire as well.   To keep his base on board, the conman needs to keep his marks ignorant and confused.  He needs them to think that, when the news about him is devastating, it must be “fake,” and therefore cannot be believed; but that when it is laudatory, it is the gospel truth.  Good luck with that.

Needless to say, not all media are, by Trump’s lights, “enemies of the people.”   Media that glorify him and do him yeoman service are beyond reproach.

The irony, of course, is that Trump is a creature of the media he derides.  He did not get to where he now is just by “starring” in the low-grade reality TV shows dear to viewers in the Fox News demographic.  He got there because “respectable” media report on his antics 24/7, and because, for people whose livelihoods depend on flimflamming the gullible, there is, as P.T. Barnum famously put it, “no such thing as bad publicity.”

Corporate media’s love-hate relationship with the Donald is complicated because Trump is good for the ratings upon which they depend, and because, despite all that he has done to undermine the majesty of the office he holds, people in media still harbor respect for the presidency, even as they despise the president himself.

They therefore report on Trump’s doings as if the whole world revolved around them.  In a way, they do, even though, on the merits, Trump is not worth being taken seriously at all.  However that may be, were there ever to be a final reckoning, CNN and MSNBC would likely be found as culpable for bringing on the Age of Trump as Trump TV (Fox News).

With his “maybe he (MBS, Mohammad bin Salman) did, maybe he didn’t” line on ordering the murder and dismemberment of U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Trump now seems to have reached a new low in fatuous prevarications and abject immorality.

The truth is obvious but inconvenient — for the death merchants and masters of war that comprise our military-industrial complex, for the Trump and Kushner families whose businesses depend on good relations with Saudi Arabia, and for the likes of Sheldon Adelson and Benjamin Netanyahu who salivate at the thought of war with Iran.

After Trump himself, it is practically axiomatic in Trumpland that their will be done!  Trump would therefore have Congress cut MBS endless slack.

Khashoggi was just a journalist, after all, a member of a community that, at its best, purveys inconvenient truths, and is therefore to be despised.

Moreover, he was on the wrong side of conflicts within the Saudi royal family, and we mustn’t cross them.

Is this the kind of thinking that will govern American diplomacy in the months and years ahead?  In all likelihood, the answer is Yes – not so much because de-Trumpification, if and when it get underway, will be a long and arduous process, but also because Democrats vilify truth tellers too.

Much as their Reaganism is less overt but sometimes more effective than the Republican kind, their war on refractory journalists who insist on telling it like it is, even when guardians of the status quo find that upsetting, can sometimes be just as horrendous.

A case in point is the way that MSNBC and CNN go after Russia Today, a purveyor of news and features many times more intelligent and interesting than the Dreck they put on offer, and no more propagandistic.  Even its “production values” are better.

And then there is their relentless vilification of Julian Assange, holed up for years in the Ecuadoran embassy in London, just for revealing information embarrassing to the Obama administration, especially Hillary Clinton.

Rachel Maddow cannot say his name without sneering, and most of the other talking heads, disembodied voices, and feckless scribblers on MSNBC, CNN, NPR, New York Times, Washington Post, and the rest are even worse.  For them, it is beyond dispute, for reasons that only they know, that Wikileaks is the devil’s – or perhaps Vladimir Putin’s – handiwork.

And remember Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning and the other whistleblowers in the Democratic Party’s crosshairs.  Compared to some of them, Khashoggi didn’t get such a bad deal.

The jury is out on the salvageability of the Clintonite – Pelosi and Schumer led — Democratic Party, though, despite a few hopeful signs, the likelihood is strong that, now that the midterms are over, not nearly enough will change to make the Democratic Party good for anything more than not being the GOP.

This should become clear soon enough, but first we have the weeks before Christmas to endure.
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More articles by:Andrew Levine

ANDREW LEVINE is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What’s Wrong With the Opium of the People. He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park.  He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).
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Offline azozeo

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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #1640 on: December 02, 2018, 08:45:06 AM »
I would love to be a fly on the wall when the newbie politico zombies go to orientation in '19....

What a come to Orange Jesus mtng. that's gonna be.
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline RE

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🤡 Trump launches Twitter tirade at Mueller ahead of expected Manafort filing
« Reply #1641 on: December 07, 2018, 10:04:58 AM »

Trump launches Twitter tirade at Mueller ahead of expected Manafort filing
By Jordan Fabian and John Bowden - 12/07/18 07:25 AM EST

President Trump on Friday unleashed a barrage of early-morning tweets aimed at Robert Mueller, blasting him as a conflicted and biased special counsel before Mueller is expected to file new documents in the Russia investigation.

The president called the investigation "a total Witch Hunt" and also sought to undermine the credibility of his own deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, who had been overseeing the probe, by arguing he is "totally conflicted."

"Robert Mueller and Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey are Best Friends, just one of many Mueller Conflicts of Interest," Trump tweeted, referring to the man he fired as FBI director.


In a subsequent tweet, Trump asked if "Robert Mueller’s big time conflicts of interest [will] be listed at the top of his Republicans only Report."

He also argued that the Justice Department should investigate 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton Foundation.

"Will all of the substantial & many contributions made by the 17 Angry Democrats to the Campaign of Crooked Hillary be listed in top of Report. Will the people that worked for the Clinton Foundation be listed at the top of the Report?" he wrote.


The tweets come on what is expected to be a momentous day in Mueller's long-running investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

His office is expected to submit new filings later in the day detailing the status of cases against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, both of whom pleaded guilty to separate charges.

Trump's tweets break a relatively brief period of silence on the Mueller probe during memorial services for former President George H.W. Bush, who died on Nov. 30. 

For the second time in recent weeks, the president turned his fire on Rosenstein. He asked if the No. 2 Justice Department official's "scathing document written about Lyin’ James Comey" will be included in Mueller's final report on the probe.
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Referring to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant signed by Rosenstein against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, Trump asked, "Isn’t Rod therefore totally conflicted?" 

The debate over whether Rosenstein should recuse himself has long hung over the Russia probe, but the deputy attorney general said he has consulted with appropriate officials and that his position did not present a conflict.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, a Trump loyalist, is now believed to be overseeing the probe in the wake of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions's ouster.

The president last week retweeted a photoshopped image showing several Trump opponents in jail, including Rosenstein, suggesting they should be locked up for treason.

The president also took aim at top Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann, calling him a "horrible and vicious" prosecutor who "wrongly destroyed people’s lives, took down great companies."
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Offline RE

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🤡 Trump Goes Off On Mueller, Comey, Rosenstein Ahead of New Russia Bombshells
« Reply #1642 on: December 08, 2018, 12:19:07 AM »

Trump Goes Off On Mueller, Comey, Rosenstein Ahead of New Russia Bombshells

Imminent filings in Manafort and Cohen’s cases, plus the former FBI director’s upcoming congressional testimony, apparently put the president on edge.

Olivia Messer
12.07.18 7:57 AM ET

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast
Donald Trump launched an early morning Twitter attack on Robert Mueller’s investigators Friday, hours before the special counsel’s team is set to deliver important court filings in his cases against the president’s former campaign chairman and his longtime legal fixer.

The president quickly turned his eight-tweet rant into an analysis of Mueller and his team, who today will drop new public information in the cases of Paul Manafort and and Michael Cohen. James Comey, whom Trump dubbed “Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey,” will also testify before the House intelligence committee today. In total, Trump wrote nearly 300 words lambasting the men responsible for the Trump-Russia investigation over the past two years.

“Robert Mueller and Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey are Best Friends, just one of many Mueller Conflicts of Interest,” Trump began. “And bye the way, wasn’t the woman in charge of prosecuting Jerome Corsi (who I do not know) in charge of “legal” at the corrupt Clinton Foundation? A total Witch Hunt [sic],” Trump continued, referring to Jeannie Rhee, who was appointed by Mueller to join his team.

Rhee, a former partner at the WilmerHale law firm, represented Hillary Clinton during a 2015 lawsuit involving her private emails and represented the Clinton Foundation in a separate racketeering case.

“Will Robert Mueller’s big time conflicts of interest be listed at the top of his Republicans only Report?” Trump asked. “Will Andrew Weissman’s horrible and vicious prosecutorial past be listed in the Report. He wrongly destroyed people’s lives, took down great companies, only to be overturned, 9-0, in the United States Supreme Court. Doing same thing to people now.”

Trump was likely referencing Weissman’s role in the Justice Department’s Enron Task Force in the early 2000s that convicted several top executives at the now-defunct energy-trading firm as well as former accounting giant Arthur Andersen (the latter convictions were later overturned by the Supreme Court).

“Will all of the substantial & many contributions made by the 17 Angry Democrats to the Campaign of Crooked Hillary be listed in top of Report. Will the people that worked for the Clinton Foundation be listed at the top of the Report?” Trump asked. “Will the scathing document written about Lyin’ James Comey, by the man in charge of the case, Rod Rosenstein (who also signed the FISA Warrant), be a big part of the Report? Isn’t Rod therefore totally conflicted?”
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In his pre-campaign days, Trump himself also donated to Hillary Clinton. And, to be clear, Rosenstein is supervising the investigation, not conducting it, and Trump has said multiple times that he decided to fire Comey before he even received the memo. “The FISA Warrant” is a reference to a special warrant to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, who was suspected of acting on behalf of a foreign power believed to be Russia. Rosenstein signed a reapplication for the warrant, which was reauthorized several times by Republican-appointed federal judges.

“Will all of the lying and leaking by the people doing the Report, & also Bruce Ohr (and his lovely wife Molly), Comey, Brennan, Clapper, & all of the many fired people of the FBI, be listed in the Report? Will the corruption within the DNC & Clinton Campaign be exposed?” Trump asked. “And so much more!”

Trump’s attack—just one of many—on Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr and his wife, Nellie, was apparently focused on his time as associate deputy attorney general until late 2017 and her work as a contractor for Fusion GPS, the same research firm that hired ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele to compile its notorious dossier on Trump and Russia.

In a bit of bright news, Trump turned his attention east.

“China talks are going very well!” Trump added.
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🤡 Kellyanne Conway's Husband Trolls Trump Over Claim Cohen Documents Clear Pres
« Reply #1643 on: December 09, 2018, 02:50:21 AM »

Kellyanne Conway's Husband Trolls Trump Over Claim Cohen Documents Clear President
By Tom Porter On 12/8/18 at 6:24 AM

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives back at the White House on December 7, 2018 in Washington, DC. Getty Images

George Conway, a prominent conservative lawyer and husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, has mocked President Donald Trump’s claim that sentencing documents filed in the prosecution of his former attorney "totally" clear the president.

"Except for that little part where the U.S. Attorney’s Office says that you directed and coordinated with Cohen to commit two felonies," Conway wrote in response to Trump. "Other than that, totally scot-free."

Read more: Who has Robert Mueller indicted? Full list of everyone charged as result of Russia collusion investigation

On Friday, Mueller in sentencing documents recommended that Cohen spend “substantial” time in prison for lying to investigators, despite the lawyer having cooperated with probes including Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

In August Cohen pleaded guilty in New York to arranging payouts to adult entertainer Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, on Trump’s orders.

The women claimed they had had affairs with Trump, and prosecutors now claim the payouts were made to silence them ahead of the 2016 presidential election in violation of campaign finance laws.

In Friday’s court filing, the Justice Department threw its weight behind Cohen’s claim he was acting on Trump's orders, claiming the payments were made in "coordination with and the direction of" Trump, named in the documents as "individual 1."

In a tweet Friday, Trump claimed the sentencing document “Totally clears the President. Thank you!”

Kellyanne Conway is one of President Trump’s staunchest defenders in the media, but her husband has been critical of members of the Trump administration, and on Friday joined other experts in claiming that the documents show investigators believe Trump broke the law.

“This is the first time that the government has alleged in its own voice that President Trump is personally involved in what it considers to be federal offenses," tweeted U.S. politics professor Daniel Drezner, in a message shared by Conway.
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🤡 Trump continues to claim vindication as Mueller closes in
« Reply #1644 on: December 10, 2018, 12:02:46 AM »

Trump continues to claim vindication as Mueller closes in
Trump is tweeting that he has been vindicated even as more damning reports leak out

James Comey (Getty/Carsten Koall)

Matthew Rozsa
December 9, 2018 2:45pm (UTC)

Even as President Donald Trump continues to claim that he is being vindicated when it comes to the Robert Mueller investigation and Russia scandal, the reports coming out are raising additional questions about whether the president and his advisers broke the law in order to win the 2016 election.

"On 245 occasions, former FBI Director James Comey told House investigators he didn’t know, didn’t recall, or couldn’t remember things when asked. Opened investigations on 4 Americans (not 2) - didn’t know who signed off and didn’t know Christopher Steele. All lies!" Trump tweeted on Sunday morning.

He added, "Leakin’ James Comey must have set a record for who lied the most to Congress in one day. His Friday testimony was so untruthful! This whole deal is a Rigged Fraud headed up by dishonest people who would do anything so that I could not become President. They are now exposed!"

Trump expressed similar thoughts on Saturday, tweeting that "'This is collusion illusion, there is no smoking gun here. At this late date, after all that we have gone through, after millions have been spent, we have no Russian Collusion. There is nothing impeachable here.' @GeraldoRivera Time for the Witch Hunt to END!'"

During his congressional testimony last week, former FBI Director James Comey repeated that Trump had not been the subject of a 2016 counterintelligence investigation involving four people linked to his campaign, according to CNBC. Comey also discussed his controversial handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email account during her tenure as Secretary of State.

Yet while Trump attempts to shift the national focus to Comey's testimony, the threat to his presidency may be coming from other directions as well. A report on Saturday by The New York Times succinctly summed up the consensus view on the direction being taken by the special counsel's probe, as well as the investigation by the prosecutorial team from the Southern District of New York:

    In the narrative that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and New York prosecutors are building, Mr. Trump continued to secretly seek to do business in Russia deep into his presidential campaign even as Russian agents made more efforts to influence him. At the same time, in this account he ordered hush payments to two women to suppress stories of impropriety in violation of campaign finance law.

Federal prosecutors have recommended a "substantial" prison sentence for Cohen for tax fraud and campaign finance-related crimes, equally roughly four years of total prison time, according to CNN. Mueller's office has also accused Cohen of lying to them about his connections to Russia and claims that a Russian national who described himself as connected to the Kremlin discussed creating "political synergy" with Trump's campaign during a 2015 conversation with Cohen.

In a memo released by the prosecutors from the Southern District of New York, Cohen was depicted as a right-hand man and fixer for Trump (described as "Individual 1") during the latter's years as a businessman and political candidate. Despite those close ties, though, Cohen's power seemed to have diminished once Trump became president. As the memo described, Cohen attempted to parlay his longstanding professional relationship with Trump into a consultancy business in which he would sell himself to clients based on his access to the president. Because his relationship with Trump was no longer that close, however, Cohen was unable to deliver results.
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"In January 2017, Cohen formally left the Company and began holding himself out as the
'personal attorney' to Individual-1, who at that point had become the President of the United States," the memo wrote. "In January 2017, Cohen also launched two companies: Michael D. Cohen and Associates, P.C., a legal practice, and Essential Consultants LLC, a consulting firm. (PSR ¶ 152.) Both businesses were operated from the offices of a major law firm located in New York, and that firm paid Cohen $500,000 per year as salary. (Id.) Cohen also secured a substantial amount of consulting business for himself throughout 2017 by marketing to corporations what he claimed to be unique insights about and access to Individual-1. But while Cohen made millions of dollars from these consulting arrangements, his promises of insight and access proved essentially hollow. Documents obtained by the Government and witness interviews revealed that Cohen performed minimal work, and many of the consulting contracts were ultimately terminated."

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.
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🤡 Done With Michael Cohen, Federal Prosecutors Shift Focus to Trump Family Biz
« Reply #1645 on: December 10, 2018, 02:04:43 AM »

Done With Michael Cohen, Federal Prosecutors Shift Focus to Trump Family Business
Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s longtime lawyer, leaving court in Manhattan last month. Prosecutors have been examining whether other Trump Organization executives were involved in campaign finance violations.CreditAndrew Kelly/Reuters

Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s longtime lawyer, leaving court in Manhattan last month. Prosecutors have been examining whether other Trump Organization executives were involved in campaign finance violations.CreditCreditAndrew Kelly/Reuters

By Ben Protess, William K. Rashbaum and Maggie Haberman

    Dec. 9, 2018

When federal prosecutors recommended a substantial prison term for President Trump’s former lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, they linked Mr. Trump to the crimes Mr. Cohen had committed in connection with the 2016 presidential campaign.

What the prosecutors did not say in Mr. Cohen’s sentencing memorandum filed on Friday, however, is that they have continued to scrutinize what other executives in the president’s family business may have known about those crimes, which involved hush-money payments to two women who had said they had affairs with Mr. Trump.

After Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty in August to breaking campaign finance laws and other crimes — he will be sentenced on Wednesday — the federal prosecutors in Manhattan shifted their attention to what role, if any, Trump Organization executives played in the campaign finance violations, according to people briefed on the matter.

Mr. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s self-described fixer, has provided assistance in that inquiry, which is separate from the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

In addition to implicating Mr. Trump in the payments to the two women, Mr. Cohen has told prosecutors that the company’s chief financial officer was involved in discussions about them, a claim that is now a focus of the inquiry, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.

Mr. Cohen has told prosecutors that he believes Mr. Trump personally approved the company’s decision to reimburse him for one of the payments, one of the people said.

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Neither the chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, nor any other executives at the Trump Organization have been accused of wrongdoing, and there is no indication that anyone at the company will face charges in connection with the inquiry.

But in recent weeks, the prosecutors contacted the company to renew a request they had made this year for documents and other materials, according to the people. The precise nature of the materials sought was unclear, but the renewed request is further indication that prosecutors continue to focus on the president’s company even as the case against Mr. Cohen comes to a close, the people said.

At the time of the payments to the two women, Mr. Trump was the head of the company, and although he turned over its management to his elder sons, he still owns it through a trust. While the prevailing view at the Justice Department is that a sitting president cannot be indicted, the prosecutors in Manhattan could consider charging him after leaving office. It is also possible the prosecutors could seek his testimony before he leaves office if they continue the investigation into anyone else who might have had a role in the crimes, a person briefed on the matter said.
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A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment.

A spokesman for the federal prosecutors in Manhattan, the United States attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, declined to comment. A lawyer for Mr. Weisselberg, Mary E. Mulligan, also declined to comment, as did Guy Petrillo, a lawyer for Mr. Cohen.

In early September, before Mr. Cohen had completed his discussions with prosecutors and before the Southern District renewed its record request, Bloomberg reported that the Southern District was investigating Trump Organization executives other than Mr. Cohen.

Last month, Mr. Cohen unexpectedly struck a plea deal with Mr. Mueller over a new charge that he lied to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign. In a court filing the following day, Mr. Cohen’s lawyers highlighted how he had spoken on numerous occasions to each of the prosecutorial agencies investigating Mr. Trump or his company.
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Allen Weisselberg, left, and Mr. Trump in 2004. Mr. Cohen has told prosecutors that Mr. Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s the chief financial officer, was involved in discussions about hush-money payments.CreditLaurence L. Levin/NBC
Allen Weisselberg, left, and Mr. Trump in 2004. Mr. Cohen has told prosecutors that Mr. Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s the chief financial officer, was involved in discussions about hush-money payments.CreditLaurence L. Levin/NBC

Mr. Cohen has told the Southern District prosecutors that he arranged the hush money to the two women at the direction of Mr. Trump. In the filing on Friday, the Southern District prosecutors put the weight of their office behind Mr. Cohen’s admission, saying that “with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of” Mr. Trump.

The Southern District’s filing also said Mr. Cohen had provided potentially “useful information about matters relating to ongoing investigations being carried out by this office.” It added that prosecutors “assessed Cohen to be forthright and credible, and the information he provided was largely consistent with other evidence gathered,” a potentially problematic sign for the Trump Organization.

Though Mr. Trump’s lawyers declined to comment, people close to Mr. Trump argue that Mr. Cohen would not be sentenced now if he had substantially more to offer to investigators — and they note that the Southern District memo cited Mr. Cohen’s “pattern of deception that permeated his professional life.” What’s more, people who have worked for the Southern District have said that prosecutors might say things in a sentencing memo that they would not try to pursue as a separate case.

Mr. Trump lashed out at Mr. Cohen on Twitter in recent days, saying, “He lied for this outcome and should, in my opinion, serve a full and complete sentence.”

One of the campaign finance charges Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty to centered on Mr. Cohen’s paying $130,000 to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump. The payment amounted to an excessive contribution to Mr. Trump’s campaign, prosecutors said, arguing that her silence helped his election chances and that campaign finance law prohibits individuals from donating more than $2,700 to a presidential candidate in the general election.

Mr. Cohen also pleaded guilty to “causing” an illegal corporate donation to Mr. Trump when he urged American Media Inc., which publishes The National Enquirer, to buy the rights to a former Playboy model’s story of an affair with Mr. Trump. The deal effectively silenced the model, Karen McDougal, for the remainder of the campaign.

Mr. Cohen has also told the Southern District that Mr. Weisselberg, who is one of Mr. Trump’s longtime loyalists, was involved in discussions about how to pay Ms. Daniels, according to a person briefed on the matter. Mr. Cohen linked him to the deal with American Media as well.

During the campaign, Mr. Cohen recorded a conversation he had with Mr. Trump about buying the rights to negative information American Media had collected on Mr. Trump. Mr. Cohen told Mr. Trump, who did not know he was being recorded, that “I’ve spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up.” The deal was signed by American Media and Mr. Cohen, according to court papers. But a person familiar with the arrangement said that Mr. Trump balked at reimbursing America Media, as had been agreed to, and the media company was never reimbursed in relation to Ms. McDougal.

But after the campaign, Mr. Weisselberg handled reimbursing Mr. Cohen for the payment to Ms. Daniels, according to people briefed on the matter. In early 2017, Mr. Cohen sought to recoup the $130,000 he paid out of his own pocket to Ms. Daniels as well as $50,000 he spent on a technology company in connection with the campaign, prosecutors have said.

Not only did the Trump Organization repay those expenses, but it agreed to pay taxes Mr. Cohen might have incurred on the reimbursements. This decision to “gross up” Mr. Cohen went against the Trump Organization’s typical reimbursement practices, people briefed on the matter said.

The company also agreed to pay Mr. Cohen a $60,000 bonus. (Mr. Cohen left the company once Mr. Trump became president). In total, the company paid Mr. Cohen $420,000, doled out in monthly installments of $35,000. In internal documents, the company “falsely accounted” for the payments as “legal expenses,” when, in fact, they were campaign expenditures, prosecutors say.

Mr. Weisselberg spoke with prosecutors this year from the Southern District when they were investigating Mr. Cohen. It is unclear what he said, and it is believed that he spoke on the condition that his statements could not be used against him.

One person familiar with Mr. Weisselberg’s work at the Trump Organization, who was not authorized to speak on his behalf, suggested that he might not have known the purpose of Mr. Cohen’s reimbursements, noting that Mr. Cohen often did personal legal work for the president and his family. That kind of work was generally performed with few, if any, questions asked, the person said.
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🤡 Trump: Military will build border wall if Democrats don’t vote for it
« Reply #1646 on: December 11, 2018, 10:50:29 AM »
What a fucking clown. 🤡

First of all, even Repugnant CONgress critters won't support him trying to circumvent CONgress.

Second, the Military can't do it without the funding, and CONgress won't allocate it.  They would have to take it from somewhere else in their bloated budget, meaning Lockheed wouldn't get so much to build crappy planes.

Third, the military couldn't do it even WITH the funding.  The Army Corps of Bozos doesn't have enough personnel for that.


Trump: Military will build border wall if Democrats don’t vote for it

By Yaron Steinbuch

December 11, 2018 | 9:09am | Updated
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President Trump on Tuesday fired off a series of tweets about border security, vowing to circumvent Congress and order the US military to build his long-promised border wall “if Democrats do not give us the votes to secure our Country.”

Hours before meeting Democratic leaders to discuss funding for the wall, the president touted his efforts to shore up security along the US-Mexico border.

“Despite the large Caravans that WERE forming and heading to our Country, people have not been able to get through our newly built Walls, makeshift Walls & Fences, or Border Patrol Officers & Military,” he said in one of five tweets about the subject.

“They are now staying in Mexico or going back to their original countries,” he continued. “Ice, Border Patrol and our Military have done a FANTASTIC job of securing our Southern Border.

“A Great Wall would be, however, a far easier & less expensive solution. We have already built large new sections & fully renovated others, making them like new,” he added.

“The Democrats, however, for strictly political reasons and because they have been pulled so far left, do NOT want Border Security. They want Open Borders for anyone to come in. This brings large scale crime and disease.

“Our Southern Border is now Secure and will remain that way,” he said, adding that he looked forward to his meeting at the White House with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York ahead of a Dec. 21 deadline to shut down some government agencies.

“In 2006, Democrats voted for a Wall, and they were right to do so. Today, they no longer want Border Security. They will fight it at all cost, and Nancy must get votes for Speaker. But the Wall will get built,” he said.

“People do not yet realize how much of the Wall, including really effective renovation, has already been built,” he added.

“If the Democrats do not give us the votes to secure our Country, the Military will build the remaining sections of the Wall. They know how important it is!”

Trump wants the next funding package to include at least $5 billion for it — an idea Democrats have flatly rejected.

Pelosi and Schumer have urged the president to support a bill that includes a half-dozen government funding bills largely agreed upon by lawmakers, along with a separate measure that funds the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through Sept. 30.

The homeland bill includes about $1.3 billion for fencing and other security measures at the border.
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🤡 Trump vs Pelosi on Camera: THUNDERDOME!
« Reply #1647 on: December 11, 2018, 11:55:47 AM »
Two men enter, one man leaves. lol.

SNL will have a field day with this one.

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🤡Michael Cohen's sentencing could make it harder for Nancy Pelosi and Democrats
« Reply #1648 on: December 13, 2018, 04:52:16 AM »

Michael Cohen's sentencing could make it harder for Nancy Pelosi and Democrats to stave off impeachment
by Philip Klein
 | December 12, 2018 03:00 PM

Former President Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's sentencing to three years in jail, whatever its tangible implications, could make it more difficult for Nancy Pelosi to stave off impeachment once Democrats assume control of the House of Representatives next month.

Even as Trump's legal challenges accumulate, Pelosi and the Democratic leadership are in a bit of a bind of their own. Polls have shown opposition to impeachment among the general public, even as Democrats overwhelmingly support the course.

Barring a bombshell revelation on collusion with Russia, the ideal political course for Democrats over the next two years would be to use their new House majority to pass legislation on kitchen table issues that are unifying to their caucus, politically popular, and yet likely to be opposed by Republicans in the Senate. This will give Democrats issues to run on in 2020. If they overreach on impeachment, however, it could backfire by becoming a distraction and allowing Trump to rally people to his cause.
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That said, the Cohen news could ramp up pressure on Pelosi to use all tools at Democrats' disposal to go after Trump, including impeachment.

Cohen joins Paul Manafort and Rick Gates as major figures in Trump world during the 2016 campaign who turned out to be felons. What's more, Cohen, who facilitated hush money payments during the campaign, implicated Trump.

Attorney Lanny Davis, who worked for Bill Clinton and went on to represent Cohen, said that after the Robert Mueller investigation wraps up, Cohen wants "to state publicly all he knows about Mr. Trump — and that includes any appropriate congressional committee interested in the search for truth and the difference between facts and lies."

Now, there is plenty left unsaid about what specifically Trump knew about, and Trump's defenders have argued that impeaching a president over a campaign finance reporting issue would be a stretch. But that's a separate argument — one about the substance of whether Trump deserves to be impeached. The question the Democratic leadership will have to deal with is whether pressure from liberals to launch impeachment proceedings becomes so overwhelming that it gets hard to avoid. And clearly, the Cohen news increases that pressure.
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🤡 A ‘loud gong’: National Enquirer’s surprise deal could imperil Trump
« Reply #1649 on: December 13, 2018, 05:16:43 AM »
If anyone has the dirt on Trumpofsky, it's the NE.


President Donald Trump has known America Media Inc. CEO David Pecker for more than two decades. | Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

A ‘loud gong’: National Enquirer’s surprise deal could imperil Trump

The National Enquirer’s parent company has agreed to tell prosecutors everything it knows about Donald Trump — and it might know a lot.


12/12/2018 06:33 PM EST

Updated 12/12/2018 07:11 PM EST

The National Enquirer’s parent company has agreed to tell prosecutors everything it knows about Donald Trump — and it might know a lot.

In a court document released Wednesday, the tabloid publisher, American Media Inc., admitted to coordinating a hush-money payment with Trump’s 2016 campaign, reversing two years of denials. The confession came as part of an immunity agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office in New York, made public shortly after Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three years in prison over charges of tax fraud, campaign finance violations and lying to Congress.

But the disclosure might just be scratching the surface. Based on court documents and a plethora of media reports, Trump and his aides have worked for years with the tabloid to kill incriminating stories. AMI’s CEO David Pecker also had a decades-long copacetic friendship with Trump.

Legal experts say that could mean more legal peril for Trump, who has already been implicated in directing Cohen to work with the National Enquirer during the 2016 campaign to pay women in exchange for their silence about alleged affairs.

The immunity deal, said Gene Rossi, a former federal prosecutor from Northern Virginia, “is a huge red flag and loud gong against the president.”

Under the agreement dated from late September and released Wednesday, AMI accepted immunity from federal prosecutors in exchange for documents and “numerous interviews” with the company’s executives and staff about the Trump hush-money scheme and other arrangements involving politicians running for office.
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As part of the deal, the tabloid publisher acknowledged a series of “admitted facts” tied to its work with the Trump campaign to ensure damaging allegations about the real estate mogul didn’t come out before Election Day 2016. The arrangement — which involved Pecker, Cohen and one other member of Trump’s campaign — stretched back to August 2014, according to a separate court filing on Friday.

In the document released Wednesday, AMI confirmed that it paid a woman $150,000 in “cooperation, consultation and concert” with Trump’s campaign to ensure she “did not publicize damaging allegations about that candidate before the 2016 presidential election and thereby influence the election.”

The admission marked a dramatic about-face for the company, which had previously denied making that exact same payment to Karen McDougal, the 1998 Playboy Playmate of the Year, when The Wall Street Journal first disclosed the payoff in a story published four days before the 2016 election.

“AMI has not paid people to kill damaging stories about Mr. Trump,” the company said in a statement at the time.

The nonprosecution agreement, according to several legal experts, strongly suggests there is additional corroboration of the crimes Cohen has already pleaded guilty to involving the president. It also suggests Pecker and others at AMI “may provide support for the allegation that the president willfully and knowingly joined a conspiracy to violate the campaign laws as well as possible tax crimes committed by AMI,” Rossi said.

Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. Attorney from Michigan, said the immunity deal “suggests that witnesses other than Cohen are providing information to [special counsel Robert] Mueller about Trump.”

“A corporation can act only through its officers and employees, so one or more officers or employees of AMI appear to be providing information to Mueller about the payoffs at issue,” she added. “This could mean that additional subjects could be charged, including Trump, for conspiracy or solicitation of a campaign finance violation.”

An earlier court document from New York prosecutors did allude to the National Enquirer also playing a role in facilitating another hush payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who also alleged an affair with Trump. But the immunity deal unveiled Wednesday omitted any direct mention of the incident.

Still, by any measure, Pecker is primed to be a gold mine for prosecutors. The 67-year-old New York native has known Trump for more than two decades, and media accounts and statements from the two men over the years show it’s been a mutually beneficial relationship.
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Before Trump entered presidential politics, Vanity Fair reported that Pecker regularly flew on Trump’s plane from New York to Florida. In April 2013, Trump wrote the first of three Twitter posts urging Pecker get a promotion in the publishing world. “David Pecker would be a brilliant choice as CEO of TIME Magazine — nobody could bring it back like David!” Trump said.

A former AMI editor once told CNN that Pecker had “a favor bank” to quash negative stories about Trump.

“It’s sort of a favor bank where he can say to the president — I have an arsenal of stories that I have kept out of print, so these scandals never saw the light of day,” the editor said.
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Once in the White House, Trump hosted a July 2017 dinner for Pecker and his guest, a French businessman with ties to the Saudi royal family, according to The New York Times. At the time, the newspaper reported that Pecker was trying to expand his media and events businesses in Saudi Arabia.

The National Enquirer returned the favor with frequent flattering coverage for Trump as he flirted with political runs.

In a 2011 story, published after Trump had bowed out of the race for the Republican nomination, the tabloid’s readers were met with this headline: “Millions implore Donald Trump to reconsider new presidential run.”

Trump later was given valuable real estate in the supermarket tabloid to pen several first-person columns.

And in his 2016 race, the National Enquirer endorsed Trump’s campaign and took aim at his Republican primary rivals, including a cover piece as Trump inched closer to the GOP nomination suggesting Ted Cruz’s father had a link to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

In the general election, the National Enquirer turned its fire hose on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, with front-page headlines blaring in bullet points that she was on the verge of indictment for “TREASON! BRIBERY! FRAUD! ESPIONAGE! EMBEZZLEMENT!” while also suffering from various health ailments including “TWO SECRET STROKES!” and “LUNG CANCER BATTLE!”

But it might have been the National Enquirer’s role in helping keep otherwise politically embarrassing headlines about Trump out of the news that ultimately causes the president legal problems.
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Former Obama acting solicitor general Neal Katyal described the AMI agreement as “quite important.”

“One by one, the career DOJ prosecutors are removing possible Trump defenses. Now it isn’t just Cohen, but also AMI, saying these hush money payments were made to influence the 2016 Presidential election, and knock out the so-called ‘Edwards defense,’” he wrote on Twitter.

Katyal’s reference is to a legal argument successfully made in 2012 by attorneys for John Edwards, the former Democratic presidential candidate who faced a criminal trial over payments to his mistress funneled through private donors. A jury deadlocked on most of the charges against Edwards, who argued the payments were designed to keep his affair from his wife for personal and reputational reasons — rather than to save his political career. The Justice Department later decided not to retry the case.

That’s in contrast to the payments Cohen and Trump made. According to court documents, the arrangement with the National Enquirer was made specifically to keep his boss’ presidential aspirations afloat.

David Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor from South Florida, where AMI is headquartered, said it’s long been known the company conducted so-called “catch-and-kill” journalism. But he said what got the company in hot water this time was that it was wading into campaign finance law territory.

“What this means for people in politics and the current president is that if you engage in catch and kill and allow your payment for that service to be connected directly or indirectly to you campaign, you will be punished,” he said. “It’s has also provided a road map of what not to do.”
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