The Smoking Gun: Trump, The Least Charitable Billionaire

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hushpuppy, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    Roger Stone Admits Spreading Lies on InfoWars

    Trump adviser made the admission in settling a defamation suit brought against him by an exiled Chinese businessman

    By Cezary Podkul and Shelby Holliday, The Wall Street Journal, December 18, 2018


    As questions swirl about his credibility, former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone settled a defamation suit seeking $100 million in damages on Monday for publishing false and misleading statements on, a far-right website known for promoting conspiracy theories.

    The agreement requires Mr. Stone to run ads in national newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, apologizing for making defamatory statements about a Chinese businessman who is a vocal critic of Beijing. It also requires Mr. Stone to publish a retraction of the false statements on social media. Doing so exempts him from paying any of the damages.

    In a text message, Mr. Stone described his conduct as “irresponsible” and added that “I am solely responsible for fulfilling the terms of the settlement.”

    Unrelated to the Russia probe, Mr. Stone’s settlement is the latest indication that his use of various media platforms to spread unfounded claims isn’t without consequences. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office is investigating Mr. Stone’s role in orchestrating stories about key events being examined in the Russia probe, the Journal has reported.


    The settlement resulted from a lawsuit filed in Florida federal court in March by exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui. Mr. Guo sued Mr. Stone for falsely accusing him of being a “turncoat criminal who is convicted of crimes here and in China.” Mr. Stone also accused Mr. Guo of violating U.S. election laws by making political donations to Hillary Clinton, according to the lawsuit. It is illegal for foreign nationals to donate to U.S. election campaigns.

    Mr. Stone did not respond to a question about how the settlement impacts him financially. In recent weeks, he has publicly complained of his mounting legal bills, which are likely to soar higher as he continues to be of interest to investigators probing Russian interference in the 2016 election.

    “This threatens to bankrupt my family and destroy me financially,” Mr. Stone said of the Russia probe on an InfoWars broadcast earlier this month. He asked for financial support and said his bills already exceed half a million dollars.

    Mr. Stone has repeatedly claimed that prosecutors will have to go through him to get to President Trump and said he will never testify against the president, whom he has known for decades. He has criticized the investigators on social media, calling the special counsel’s probe a witch hunt run by “Deep State hit man Robert Mueller” and his “minions.”

    More at

    Trump pal Roger Stone admits he's a liar after Trump vouches for him

    Trump said dirty trickster Roger Stone should be trusted for standing by him, but Stone just admitted in court to being a huge liar.
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    Trump wall plan
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  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump signed letter of intent for Trump Tower in Moscow, Giuliani incorrectly claimed he didn't | CNN


    A newly obtained document shows President Donald Trump signed a letter of intent to move forward with negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Russia, despite his attorney Rudy Giuliani claiming on Sunday the document was never signed.

    CNN's Chris Cuomo obtained a copy of the signed letter of intent that set the stage for negotiations for Trump condominiums, a hotel and commercial property in the heart of Moscow. The letter is dated October 28, 2015, and bears the President's signature.

    When asked on Sunday about the letter, Giuliani incorrectly told CNN's Dana Bash that it had not been signed.

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  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    Hacked European Cables Reveal a World of Anxiety About Trump, Russia and Iran

    By David E. Sanger and Steven Erlanger, The New York Times


    Hackers infiltrated the European Union’s diplomatic communications network for years, downloading thousands of cables that reveal concerns about an unpredictable Trump administration and struggles to deal with Russia and China and the risk that Iran would revive its nuclear program.

    In one cable, European diplomats described a meeting between President Trump and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Helsinki, Finland, as “successful (at least for Putin).”

    Another cable, written after a July 16 meeting, relayed a detailed report and analysis of a discussion between European officials and President Xi Jinping of China, who was quoted comparing Mr. Trump’s “bullying” of Beijing to a “no-rules freestyle boxing match.”

    The techniques that the hackers deployed over a three-year period resembled those long used by an elite unit of China’s People’s Liberation Army. The cables were copied from the secure network and posted to an open internet site that the hackers set up in the course of their attack, according to Area 1, the firm that discovered the breach.

    Area 1 made more than 1,100 of the hacked European Union cables available to The New York Times. The White House National Security Council did not have an immediate comment on Tuesday.

    The compromised material provides insight into Europe’s struggle to understand the political turmoil engulfing three continents. It includes memorandums of conversations with leaders in Saudi Arabia, Israel and other countries that were shared across the European Union.

    But it also revealed the huge appetite by hackers to sweep up even the most obscure details of international negotiations.

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  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    What Does the National Enquirer Know About Trump Clan? Former Tabloid Editor Says Paper Has 'Criminal' Facts

    By Brendan Cole, Newsweek


    A former high-ranking executive at The National Enquirer claimed the tabloid he once worked for had a stash of stories that could incriminate President Donald Trump.

    Jerry George told MSNBC that his former boss, David Pecker, chairman and CEO of American Media Inc. (AMI), which owns The National Enquirer, had “sold his editorial soul for access to Trumpworld,” which allowed the publication to get closer to the president’s 2016 campaign.

    George told The Beat’s Ari Melber that Pecker had gathered “bargaining chips” in the form of embarrassing stories to use as future leverage on Trump.

    When asked by Melber if he knew that Pecker had incriminating stories about Trump that were yet to come out, George said: “Yes, certainly.”

    When asked if he knew what they were, George said some involved the Trump-Kushner family, while others were about sibling rivalry and discord between Trump and his wife, Melania.

    Melber asked George: “Would you characterize them as ‘merely embarrassing’...or do any of them rise to the level of being potentially criminal?”

    George replied: “Well, actually both. They are certainly embarrassing and then when you get involved with the actions of his children, including his daughter and son-in-law, we are getting closer to criminal activity.”

    George claimed that the Enquirer’s parent company, AMI, had cooperated with Trump to break campaign finance laws and referred to a “curious” edition of the magazine with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman on the cover.

    He suggested there was a financial incentive provided for that coverage, which he described as smelling “fishy,” although he did not provide any evidence to back up the claim.

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  7. The Wrong Guy Member

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  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 3 hours ago
    In our Country, so much money has been poured down the drain, for so many years, but when it comes to Border Security and the Military, the Democrats fight to the death. We won on the Military, which is being completely rebuilt. One way or the other, we will win on the Wall!

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 2 hours ago
    Mexico is paying (indirectly) for the Wall through the new USMCA, the replacement for NAFTA! Far more money coming to the U.S. Because of the tremendous dangers at the Border, including large scale criminal and drug inflow, the United States Military will build the Wall!

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 1 hour ago
    We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 46 minutes ago
    The Trump Foundation has done great work and given away lots of money, both mine and others, to great charities over the years - with me taking NO fees, rent, salaries etc. Now, as usual, I am getting slammed by Cuomo and the Dems in a long running civil lawsuit started by.....

    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 34 minutes ago
    ...sleazebag AG Eric Schneiderman, who has since resigned over horrific women abuse, when I wanted to close the Foundation so as not to be in conflict with politics. Shady Eric was head of New Yorkers for Clinton, and refused to even look at the corrupt Clinton Foundation......

    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 25 minutes ago
    ....In any event, it goes on and on & the new AG, who is now being replaced by yet another AG (who openly campaigned on a GET TRUMP agenda), does little else but rant, rave & politic against me. Will never be treated fairly by these people - a total double standard of “justice.”

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  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    Here comes Robert Mueller's obstruction of justice case against Donald Trump | Palmer Report

    " the time Donald Trump and Paul Manafort were conspiring to sabotage the FBI, Manafort knew he was a criminal target of the FBI, and so did Trump. This proves that Trump was willfully and knowingly obstructing justice. While we expect Robert Mueller to hit Trump with dozens if not hundreds of counts of obstruction, this Manafort connection could be the key to making them stick."

    I talked to Mueller after Trump’s election. Here’s what was on his mind. | The Washington Post

    "Yes, he had defended harsh provisions of the USA Patriot Act post-9/11, but civil liberties motivated him, too."
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  10. Lulz start around 8:08

  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald Trump, on his way to being ousted, arranges parting gift for Putin

    By Bill Palmer, Palmer Report, December 19, 2018


    The felony counts against Donald Trump are already piling up, with dozens if not hundreds more in the coming weeks. House Democrats are about to pounce, Robert Mueller is about to drop the hammer, and too many of Trump’s former allies have sold him out to count. Trump knows he’s in deep trouble, though it’s still not clear if he understands he’s about to be ousted. Meanwhile, Trump’s overlords know his time is short – and they’re getting what they can from him, while they still can.

    Donald Trump announced today that the United States will be withdrawing its forces from Syria. There are various reasons to argue that this is the right or wrong move. But we all know why Trump is doing this. He’s been using U.S. forces to wipe out Russia’s adversaries in Syria, surely at the instruction of Vladimir Putin.

    Now that Trump is in danger of being ousted, Putin wants the U.S. out of Syria entirely, for fear the next U.S. President might not be so accommodating. There’s no doubt that Putin signaled to Trump that it was time for him to announce his withdrawal from Syria. We’re not sure how many or few pundits will be willing to call this spade a spade, but there’s no doubt about what’s really going on here. All we have to do is ask the Donald Trump of 2016.

    During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump flatly said that the United States should simply get out of Syria and let Russia have it. Now that’s precisely what Trump is doing. Considering that Vladimir Putin was running the Trump campaign, and he’s now running the Trump administration, it’s clear that this has been the plan all along. Putin has asked Trump for a parting gift, and Trump has accommodated his puppet master.

  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    New secret filing in case of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen placed in NY federal court vault

    By Dan Mangan, CNBC, December 19, 2018

    • A document that is sealed from public view was placed in a New York federal court vault in a criminal case against President Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen.
    • The filing comes a week after Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for financial crimes and for campaign finance violations related to hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal.
    • Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about an aborted plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. That case was filed by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is continuing to investigate Trump's presidential campaign and its ties to Russians.

    SDNY appears to have a sealed indictment against Donald Trump, or something similar, locked in a secret vault

    By Bill Palmer, Palmer Report, December 19, 2018


    Just when you thought Michael Cohen’s sentencing hearing marked the end of his relevance to the cascading investigations into Donald Trump’s criminal scandals, it turns out he’s back in the headlines tonight – or at least his criminal case is. It turns out that, a week after SDNY succeeded in getting Cohen sentenced to prison, it placed a secret filing related to the case in a sealed vault. There are very few things this can be.

    First, let’s be clear: the prosecution of Michael Cohen is over. Done. Kaput. So this can’t be a court filing against him. Instead it has to be against someone else involved in the SDNY case against Cohen. And based on the secrecy involved, which consists of the filing being “sealed from public view was placed in a New York federal court vault” according to CNBC, which broke the story, this has to be against Donald Trump. For that matter, this has to be an indictment or something similar.

    So what’s really going on here? The most logical explanation would be this: after Michael Cohen said those famously damning things against Donald Trump during his sentencing hearing, the SDNY then took Cohen’s words to a grand jury and obtained an indictment against Trump. When an indictment isn’t intended to be immediately carried out, it’s placed “under seal” which usually means that it’s simply hidden from public view. In this instance it sounds like they literally sealed up the indictment, to prevent Trump and/or his minions from being able to destroy it.

    Even as legal scholars debate whether an indictment against a sitting president is legally valid, there is nothing to prevent prosecutors from having a grand jury go ahead and indict a sitting president. The legal battle over its validity would take place once it were unsealed. So yes, the SDNY could easily obtain an indictment against Donald Trump right now. Placing it in a vault would ensure that it remained intact no matter who might get fired by Trump.

    The question would then be whether SDNY and/or Robert Mueller intend to actually indict Donald Trump while he’s in office, prompting a legal battle in the process. Such a sealed indictment could simply be an insurance policy to make sure Trump goes to prison after he leaves office, unless he agrees to leave on Mueller’s terms – which would mean resignation.

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    “Dear Mr. President:
    I have been privileged to serve as our country's 26th Secretary of Defense which has allowed me to serve alongside our men and women of the Department in defense of our citizens and our ideals.
    I am proud of the progress that has been made over the past two years on some of the key goals articulated in our National Defense Strategy: putting the Department on a more sound budgetary footing, improving readiness and lethality in our forces, and reforming the Department's business practices for greater performance. Our troops continue to provide the capabilities needed to prevail in conflict and sustain strong U.S. global influence.
    One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies. Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be the policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective leadership to our alliances. NATO's 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.
    Similarly, I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model - gaining veto authority over other nations' economic, diplomatic, and security decisions - to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.
    My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.
    Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position. The end date for my tenure is February 28, 2019, a date that should allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed as well as to make sure the Department's interests are properly articulated and protected at upcoming events to include Congressional posture hearings and the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in February. Further, that a full transition to a new Secretary of Defense occurs well in advance of the transition of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September in order to ensure stability Within the Department.
    I pledge my full effort to a smooth transition that ensures the needs and interests of the 2.15 million Service Members and 732,079 DoD civilians receive undistracted attention of the Department at all times so that they can fulfill their critical, round-the-clock mission to protect the American people.
    I very much appreciate this opportunity to serve the nation and our men and women in uniform.”
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    So here we are
    Holiday season - high risk for military assaults
    No Sec of Defense. “
    Pending government shutdown “
    Justice department in disarray because the acting SOS is challenged by the legislature “
    US economy / Dow Jones in chaos

    This is more dangerous than the Cuban Missle Crisis
  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    US military ordered to withdraw about half the troops in Afghanistan

    By Barbara Starr and Jake Tapper, CNN, December 20, 2018


    The US military has been ordered to withdraw about half the troops in Afghanistan, a US defense official with direct knowledge of the matter told CNN on Thursday.

    The official said planning is underway, and it could take months to withdraw the nearly 7,000 troops.

    The decision was made Tuesday, at the same time as President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the US military from Syria -- moves that precipitated Defense Secretary James Mattis' resignation announcement on Thursday.

    The Wall Street Journal was first to report the plan for the Afghanistan withdrawal.

    Several US defense officials told CNN that Trump wants to draw down US troops in Afghanistan. Two administration officials told CNN that Trump wants the plans drawn up in hopes he could announce the drawdown in his State of the Union speech, which is traditionally at the end of January or early February.

    CNN's Jake Tapper reported earlier Thursday that officials throughout the administration were bracing themselves for Trump to make an announcement about the US presence in Afghanistan.

    Multiple officials told CNN the military decisions were a factor in Mattis' decision to resign.

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  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    House passes spending bill with $5 billion for Trump's border wall

    By Clare Foran and Ashley Killough, CNN, December 20, 2018


    With Washington a little more than 24 hours away from a partial government shutdown, the House of Representatives on Thursday passed a spending bill that includes an additional $5 billion for President Donald Trump's long-promised border wall. The vote was 217-185.

    The $5 billion is in line with what the President has requested of Congress, but passage of the measure significantly raises the chances that the government will at least partially shut down at the end of the week.

    That's because the bill next heads to the Senate, where it is expected to be dead on arrival due to opposition over the border wall money.

    Democrats have already made clear they will not support $5 billion for the wall, and any spending measure would need bipartisan support to pass in the Senate.

    The question now is whether a partial shutdown can still be averted. Funding will expire for several key government agencies at midnight on Friday. If the deadline is not extended, those agencies will shutter just days before Christmas.

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  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    Ex-Senate aide gets 2 months in prison for lying to FBI | POLITICO


    Former Senate Intelligence Committee security director James Wolfe was sentenced on Thursday to two months in prison for lying to the FBI about his interactions with journalists.

    The FBI was talking to Wolfe as part of a broader attempt to find out who was leaking details about surveillance targets in the government's investigation of potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

    The sentence imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson fell well short of the two years that prosecutors recommended. However, the judge also rebuffed Wolfe’s lawyers request that he be spared jail and put on probation.

    Wolfe, 58, pleaded guilty last October to a felony false statement charge for lying to the FBI, but did not admit to leaking classified information. He did, however, concede discussing unclassified but non-public information with reporters in violation of Senate Intelligence Committee rules.

    Wolfe and his lawyers argued that he deceived the FBI because he wanted to cover up an extramarital relationship with a reporter. He feared that its disclosure would distress his family and cost him his job, they said.

    In a recent court filing, prosecutors accused Wolfe of regularly sharing sensitive information with “multiple young, female reporters."

    Wolfe in his guilty plea admitted to lying about his contacts with four reporters. None of them are named, but one appears to be Ali Watkins, a New York Times journalist who formerly worked for BuzzFeed and POLITICO.

    Wolfe conceded that he initially denied any personal relationship with any of these reporters to the FBI, but after being confronted with photographs of himself and Watkins, he acknowledged having a personal relationship with her for several years.

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  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein settles another lawsuit

    By Kaja Whitehouse and Lia Eustachewich, New York Post, December 20, 2018


    Billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has settled yet another lawsuit — this time with a woman who claimed she was recruited by the renowned pedophile as a sex slave more than a decade ago.

    The woman, Sarah Ransome, sued Epstein and alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell in Manhattan federal court last year for forcing her into sex acts in 2006 and 2007, when she was in her 20s.

    She more recently claimed they directed her to have sex with Epstein’s powerful friends, including notable lawyer and Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, the Miami Herald reported.

    Ransome, who now lives in Barcelona, withdrew the lawsuit on Thursday due to the settlement, the terms of which were not disclosed.

    “We are pleased with the settlement. It provides as much compensation as money can provide for the horrific damage done by sex trafficking,” said her lawyer, David Boies.

    Epstein, a wealthy hedge fund manager, is a registered sex offender tied to his 2008 conviction for soliciting an underage girl for prostitution. Before his conviction and since, he has been accused of sexually abusing dozens of mostly underage girls at his mansion in Palm Beach.

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  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    Bestselling Trump-Russia Author Slams ‘False’ NBC News Report Claiming Robert Mueller Investigation Near End

    A new NBC News report claiming that Robert Mueller will end his investigation into collusion between Donald Trump and Russia in February is 'false,' an expert on the scandal says.

    By Jonathan Vankin, Inquisitr, December 20, 2018


    On Thursday afternoon, NBC News reported that the investigation into possible collusion between Donald Trump and Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign will likely end as soon as February of 2019. The NBC News report, which echoed a Yahoo! News report of just 17 days earlier, was attributed to “sources.”

    But both reports may have been sourced from the same anonymous individual or individuals, with both using similar phrasing — including the phrase, “tying up loose ends.” The phrase first appeared in the December 3 Yahoo! News report as a quote from a “source,” and was then repeated as an anonymous quote in the NBC News report on Thursday.

    Yahoo! appeared to state that Trump’s own defense lawyers provided the information on Mueller’s supposed end date, while NBC attributed the “loose ends” quote to “a lawyer who has been in contact with the Mueller team.” That clue is just one reason why Trump-Russia scandal expert Seth Abramson, author of the New York Times bestselling book, Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America, took to his Twitter account Thursday to declare the NBC News report “false.”

    “This same story has been published by US media 7 times before in just the last year — with almost no change in any of its details,” Abramson wrote on Twitter. “Each time Trump-Russia experts like me have said the story is false. Each time it has been false. The media won’t stop publishing the story, though.”

    “The (NBC) report’s euphemisms cover weak sourcing,” Abramson continued in his Twitter thread. “Its key source is ‘a lawyer who’s been in contact with the Mueller team’ — which makes you think s/he got the skinny from Mueller. Nope — it’s just a lawyer for a witness, who was ‘in contact’ with Mueller’s team as part of their job.”

    In addition, Abramson notes, several individuals have said themselves that they expect indictments from Mueller, including Trumps’ eldest son, Donald Trump, Jr., according to a New York Magazine report.

    Close Trump associate Roger Stone has also said that he is “prepared” to be indicted by Mueller, according to the Daily Beast. And an associate of Stone, conspiracy theory author Jerome Corsi, as also said that he expects an indictment from Mueller of his alleged advance knowledge of when WikiLeaks would release emails stolen from Democratic Party servers by Russian hackers, CNN reported. If all three, and possibly others, have yet to be indicted one week before Christmas of 2018, the chances that the entire investigation will end just two months later appear unrealistic, according to Abramson.

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    Trump’s plan for the Border Wall. This is not a joke. 21D044C5-0C85-4D1F-9202-361F1D11640C.gif E10726A0-2D3B-4D31-9AE1-7316E119D31A.jpeg 21D044C5-0C85-4D1F-9202-361F1D11640C.gif
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    ] 9F96A83C-EAF2-40A8-9783-A7CCE456B943.jpeg 3995B34A-CAFC-483B-B206-A4F7D419142E.jpeg D425206C-54D3-4744-ABB6-A58A848BB150.jpeg

    Attached Files:

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    At least in part these amazing tweets are to deflect from Russian Investigation news.
    Twice Trump has “ vented on” (screamed at)his temporary Attorney General Whitaker. Once when the State of New York Prosecutors officially implicated Trump in the hush money scheme to pay off Stormy Daniels and again when Cohen pled guilty to Trump Tower in Russian discussions.
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  27. The Wrong Guy Member

  28. The Wrong Guy Member

    Lawmaker calls Trump official 'liar,' storms out | CNN

    "Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) confronted DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen over border separations during the Trump administration and stormed out of the hearing during her response."
  29. The Wrong Guy Member

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    Trump’s most recent tweet

    “If anybody but your favorite President, Donald J. Trump, announced that, after decimating ISIS in Syria, we were going to bring our troops back home (happy & healthy), that person would be the most popular hero in America. With me, hit hard instead by the Fake News Media. Crazy!”
  33. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump doesn’t seem to value anything — except himself

    By Harold Pollack, The Washington Post


    He doesn’t seem moved by anything. For all his money, power and celebrity, all his dalliances and supermodel romances, he doesn’t seem to enjoy much in life beyond establishing his dominance over others.

    I don’t envy him for a single second. He seems spiritually empty in a profound and pitiful way. What does it profit a man to win the whole world if he never locates his own soul?

    More at

    2018 government shutdown: Limbaugh and Coulter blamed for Trump’s shutdown

    By Michael Brice-Saddler, The Washington Post

    The era of containing Trump is over after Mattis firing

    By Philip Rucker, The Washington Post


    For two years, they tried to tutor and confine him. They taught him history, explained nuances and gamed out reverberations. They urged careful deliberation, counseled restraint and prepared talking points to try to sell mainstream actions to a restive conservative base hungry for disruption. But in the end, they failed.

    For President Trump, the era of containment is over.

    One by one, the seasoned advisers seen as bulwarks against Trump’s most reckless impulses have been cast aside or, as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis did Thursday, resigned in an extraordinary act of protest. What Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) once dubbed an “adult day care center” has gone out of business.

    Trump will enter his third year as president unbound — at war with his perceived enemies, determined to follow through on the hard-line promises of his insurgent campaign and fearful of any cleavage in his political coalition.

    So far, the result has been disarray. The federal government is shut down. Stock markets are in free fall. Foreign allies are voicing alarm. Hostile powers such as Russia are cheering. And Republican lawmakers once afraid of crossing this president are now openly critical.

    “I want him to be successful, but I find myself in a position where the best way I can help the president is to tell him the truth as I see it,” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a Trump confidant and frequent golf partner, said as he denounced the president’s abrupt decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria against the counsel of his military advisers.

    Trump is surrounding himself with “yes” men and women — at least relative to Mattis and other former military generals who tried to keep him at bay — who see their jobs as executing his vision, even when they disagree. He has designated some officials, including the new White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, as “acting,” meaning they must labor to please the president to eventually be empowered in their positions permanently. And he is railing against his handpicked chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome H. Powell, whom he blames for the sliding market and says he never should have chosen.

    Meanwhile, Trump’s family members are ascendant. Son-in-law Jared Kushner is an increasingly influential interlocutor with foreign governments, such as Saudi Arabia, and was dispatched, along with Vice President Pence and Mulvaney, to the Capitol on the eve of the government shutdown to try to negotiate a spending deal with congressional leaders.

    The increasingly isolated president explained his mind-set in a Nov. 27 interview with The Washington Post: “I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”

    Earlier this year, Trump began rejecting the advice of such economic advisers as Gary Cohn, who resigned in March, and instead followed his nationalist instincts to implement tariffs.

    But the departure of Mattis and the national security implications that come with it sent a shock of anxiety through Washington and world capitals that far exceeded the worries over Trump’s earlier trade moves.

    “This is a rogue presidency,” said Barry McCaffrey, a retired four-star Army general.

    “We’ve got Mr. Trump who looks, in the eyes of our allies and of the professionals in the key elements of our national security power, to be incompetent and impulsive and to be making bad decisions and to be excoriating America’s historic allies and then embracing people who are threats to U.S. national security,” he said.

    Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) called this “the most chaotic week of what’s undoubtedly the most chaotic presidency ever in the history of the United States.”

    In a speech Friday, he added: “The institutions of our government lack steady and experienced leadership. With all of these departures, it is about to get even more unsteady. The president is making decisions without counsel, without preparation, and even without communication between relevant departments and relevant agencies.”

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  34. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 2 hours ago
    The only way to stop drugs, gangs, human trafficking, criminal elements and much else from coming into our Country is with a Wall or Barrier. Drones and all of the rest are wonderful and lots of fun, but it is only a good old fashioned Wall that works!

    Based on Trump’s detailed diagram of his slat wall, we did some advanced mathematics

    By Philip Bump, The Washington Post
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  35. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump loses US envoy to anti-IS coalition over Syria plan | The Associated Press


    Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy to the global coalition fighting the Islamic State group, has resigned in protest over President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, joining Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in an administration exodus of experienced national security figures. McGurk described Trump’s decision as a “shock.”

    Only 11 days ago, McGurk had said it would be “reckless” to consider IS defeated and therefore would be unwise to bring American forces home. McGurk decided to speed up his original plan to leave his post in mid-February.

    “The recent decision by the president came as a shock and was a complete reversal of policy,” he said in an email to his staff viewed by The Associated Press. “It left our coalition partners confused and our fighting partners bewildered with no plan in place or even considered thought as to consequences.”

    McGurk, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2015 and retained by Trump, said in his resignation letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the militants were on the run, but not yet defeated, and that the premature pullout of U.S. forces from Syria would create the conditions that gave rise to IS.

    The letter was submitted Friday and described to the AP on Saturday by an official familiar with its contents. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly before the letter was released and spoke on condition of anonymity.

    Trump played down the development, tweeting Saturday night that “I do not know” the envoy and it’s a “nothing event.” He noted McGurk planned to leave soon anyway and added: “Grandstander?”

    Continued at

    Trump Named Man of the Year by ISIS

    By Andy Borowitz, The Borowitz Report, The New Yorker


    Capping an extraordinary 2018, Donald J. Trump announced on Thursday that he had been named Man of the Year by the terrorist organization known as ISIS.

    Trump made the announcement after receiving the news from the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, whom Trump called “a terrific, fabulous guy.”

    “I got along great with him, and he said a lot of nice things about me,” Trump said. “He said ISIS didn’t even consider anyone else.”

    Trump, who is expecting to receive an official Man of the Year plaque from ISIS in the next few weeks, said that the award “came as a total surprise to me.”

    “It’s a particularly impressive honor when you consider ISIS was co-founded by Hillary and Obama,” he said.

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  36. The Wrong Guy Member

    Cabinet Warns Trump That Shutting Down Government Would Make It Harder to Steal From

    By Andy Borowitz, The Borowitz Report, The New Yorker


    In a tense meeting on Monday, leading Cabinet members warned Donald J. Trump that shutting down the federal government would make it exponentially harder for them to steal from.

    Led by his Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, the Cabinet members begged Trump to prevent a government showdown that would bring their brazen spree of pillaging the nation’s coffers to a screeching halt.

    “Mr. President, with the federal government up and running, I was able to take seven trips on military aircraft at a cost of eight hundred thousand dollars,” Mnuchin said. “I implore you, sir: don’t make me fly coach.”

    Trump’s three oldest children, Ivanka, Eric, and Don, Jr., who have piled up impressive taxpayer-funded travel bills of their own, chimed in with an emotional plea to their father. “Daddy, please don’t make us stop plundering government money,” Ivanka said. “Not right before Christmas.”

    The normally taciturn Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Ben Carson, also spoke up, warning that a government shutdown would make it impossible for him to accessorize his thirty-one-thousand-dollar dining-room set by purchasing seven-thousand-dollar place mats. “I’d really like those,” he said.

    According to Kellyanne Conway, the counsellor to the President, the emotional Cabinet meeting had a profound impact on Trump. “For the first time he saw how a government shutdown would hurt people,” Conway said.

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  37. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump's Hollywood Walk of Fame Star Won't Get More Protection After Vandalism Spree | TMZ


    Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame got tagged with swastikas and doused with fake blood this week, but cops aren't beefing up security to crack down on more possible vandalism. Law enforcement sources tell TMZ despite numerous attacks on the President's star, LAPD isn't going to increase patrol.

    We're told there isn't enough manpower to protect an individual star, but cops do have a camera nearby it uses to monitor the area. We have one too, and it caught both vandals in the act. Our sources say routine police patrols will remain and cops will respond to vandalism calls, but that's it.

    As we told you, the defacements were dealt with quickly, at some expense.

    Earlier in the year, someone drew prison bars over the star (which we also caught on camera), and there was a SECOND pickax incident too. And, 2018's not over yet.

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  38. The Wrong Guy Member

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  39. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 20 hours ago
    I will not be going to Florida because of the Shutdown - Staying in the White House! #MAGA

    Everyone piles on after Donald Trump makes idiotic tweet about Mar-a-Lago

    By Bill Palmer, Palmer Report, December 23, 2018


    They say that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. In Donald Trump’s case, he can’t shut down the government and have Christmas at Mar-a-Lago too. Trump tried to take credit for not running off to Florida during his shutdown tantrum, and suffice it to say that the responses were anything but kind.

    First Donald Trump tried to take credit for, well, eating: “Will be having lunch in White House residence with large group concerning Border Security.” One respondent posted the infamous photo of a goofy Trump with a taco bowl. Another pointed out that nearly everyone attending the lunch was one of the Trump’s own sycophants. But then came the real fun.

    Not content to let us know that he was having lunch today with his cronies, Donald Trump went on to tell us that his vacation plans have changed: “I will not be going to Florida because of the Shutdown – Staying in the White House!” One respondent pointed out the obvious: “You make it sound like you are making some kind of sacrifice. You won’t be doing anything different, just no golf.” Another circled back to the earlier lunch tweet: “Translation – Im gonna stay here and pout…And tweet and rage and eat and tweet some more!”

    The bottom line: despite his best effort at spinning this in his favor, Donald Trump isn’t convincing anyone that he cares one bit about this country. He shut down the government over an issue that the vast majority of Americans disagree with him on, for reasons that are obviously corrupt. Now he wants us to think he’s still working, when he’s really just tweeting stupid things.

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