Category Archives: Trump Check – News & Guts

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Quote Of The Day

What have we become as a society when the President of the United States can say this and it’s not front page news? Donald Trump threatens his political opponents and it just becomes one more bizarre statement in a mountain of absurdity. In an interview with the right-leaning Breitbart, Trump said:

“I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of Bikers for Trump — I have tough people, but they don’t play it tough until they go to a certain point and then it would be very, very bad.”  – Donald Trump

We’re wondering what is that “certain point?” Negative press? Impeachment?

Former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart wrote for CNN:

“It’s hard to overestimate the damage President Trump has done to our political climate when comments like this go virtually unnoticed. We’ve all become numb to the lying, bullying and physical threats the President makes almost daily.”

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WaPo: Trump Mar-a-Lago Trips Cost $60 Million; Also Generated $400,000 In Revenue For The Resort

President Trump’s visits to Mar-a-Lago, the exclusive resort he owns in Palm Beach, Florida have cost taxpayers roughly $60 million so far. But by continuing to patronize his own property, Trump has also pocketed $400,000, according to The Washington Post.

That obviously raises all sorts of ethical concerns that the White House has chosen to ignore. But stories about access to Trump at Mar-a-Lago raised a whole new spate of concerns. The Miami Herald and Mother Jones reported that an entrepreneur from China, who is a former massage parlor owner, has been selling access to Trump and his family at Mar-a-Lago.

From The Washington Post:

It’s obviously useful for Mar-a-Lago to have Trump drop in at events on occasion — meaning that it’s indirectly valuable to Trump as well, given that he still owns the place. But it’s not Trump’s attendance at public fundraisers that really ought to raise eyebrows. It’s the rest of the time he spends chatting up whoever happens to be there. The time he spends greeting and schmoozing with the unidentified people who have paid him money to access the “winter White House.”

We got a vivid example of this over the weekend. Mother Jones magazine reported that a woman named Li Yang had been advertising her ability to get access to Trump — via Mar-a-Lago.

Not to mention all the off-the-books meetings Trump holds with guests of the club who hope to curry favor with the president.

Trump has spent all or part of 86 days at Mar-a-Lago since his inauguration, 11 percent of the days he’s been in office. Some of those days are his arrivals on a Friday evening — but who, if anyone, he meets with even on those evenings is unknown. -The Washington Post

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Slate: Trump Rolls Out New Explanation for Calling Tim Cook “Tim Apple” Which Contradicts His First Explanation

Donald Trump could have just let this potential slip of the tongue lie, but instead, he decided to issue not one, but two different responses to what he actually said. For the record he said “Tim Apple.” It’s on videotape, there is no disputing it.

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Axios: Trump at Center of Worst Scandal in History

To many Americans, though certainly not all, it is clear that in little over two years in the White House, Donald Trump has dragged the United States ever deeper into the very Washington swamp he vowed to drain.

And according to a major new analysis by Axios, we are currently in the midst of the worst political scandal in U.S. history.

In fact, it quotes presidential historian Jon Meachem as saying the broad picture of Trump and Russian meddling on his behalf in the 2016 election “transcends scandal — it’s a national crisis in the sense of a period of elevated stakes, high passions, and possibly permanent consequences.”

“Even without seeing Robert Mueller’s report, or knowing what prosecutors with the Southern District of New York have unearthed,” Axios writes, “or what congressional investigators will find, we already have witnessed the biggest political scandal in American history.”

It says only two scandals in history can be compared with Trump-Russia, both historically infamous: Watergate and Teapot Dome.

Watergate, which eventually led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation, was triggered by the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington’s Watergate office complex — and, notably, by the Nixon administration’s frenzied efforts to cover up the crime.

Teapot Dome was a bribery scandal in the 1920’s, while Warren G. Harding was president; it involved oil leases in the west, notably the Teapot Dome Oil Field in Wyoming. Harding’s Interior Secretary, Albert Fall, became the first U.S. cabinet secretary to go to prison.

Axios says historians consider “both Watergate and Teapot Dome … more limited [than Trump-Russia] because a foreign power wasn’t a central player, and a much narrower band of potential offenses was under investigation.”

In another report today, the Washington Post’s James Hohmann blames Trump’s private business dealings for the president’s “growing political headaches.”

These include blatant hypocrisy on Trump’s part when it comes to undocumented immigration. Hohmann says the Post has interviewed “33 immigrants who lacked legal status when they worked for the president’s clubs … underscoring anew the degree to which he doesn’t practice what he preaches.”

Hohmann adds that “Fueled by leads and names provided to them by former Trump Organization senior executive Michael Cohen, House Democrats are preparing to perform a veritable colonoscopy of the president’s businesses.” (Emphasis added.)

Axios outlines what it characterizes as a sprawling, six-part scandal bedeviling Trump and his administration:

1. “Trump secretly paid hush money to two mistresses on the eve of his presidential victory, and lied about it. His longtime personal lawyer is going to prison after carrying out the scheme on his behalf.

2. During the presidential campaign, Trump confidantes continued negotiating for a tower in Moscow, potentially one of Trump’s most lucrative deals ever. He hid this from the public and lied about it.”

3. “Russian officials had more than 100 contacts with Trump associates during the campaign and transition, including his son, his closest adviser, his lawyer, and his campaign manager. The Russians offered assistance in undermining Hillary Clinton. The FBI and other government authorities weren’t alerted about this effort to subvert our election.”

4. “Michael Flynn was national security adviser at the same time U.S. intelligence officials believed he was compromised by the Kremlin. He pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts.”

5. “Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, and told NBC’s Lester Holt it was at least in part because of the Russia investigation.”

6. “Trump overruled the advice of his lawyers and intelligence experts, and granted his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a top-secret clearance. This so alarmed his White House chief of staff John Kelly that he recorded his opposition in a memo. Trump and his family repeatedly denied he had interfered.”

Axios notes that there are no historical parallels for scandals 2, 3, 4 or 6.

Yet, it says, “Trump himself might survive all of this — and even more. Republican voters seem basically unmoved by the mounting evidence.”

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The Case For Or Against Investigating And Impeaching Donald Trump

It would seem like the large document request Monday from Congressional Democrats is setting the ground for impeachment. And yet you have top Democrats dismissing that idea. Just last week Speaker Nancy Pelosi said:

“Impeachment is a divisive issue in our country. And let us see what the facts are, what the law is, and what the behavior is of the president.”

Even the document request itself has been called overreaching by some. The Washington Post quoted an unnamed lawyer on the Watergate investigation who called it a “kitchen-sink kind of request.” The Post wrote:

The extensive scope could bolster claims by Trump and Republicans that congressional Democrats are seeking to undermine the president and cripple his 2020 reelection effort rather than conduct a disciplined, fact-finding inquiry.

But if the president (or someone associated with him) did break the law isn’t it Congress’ duty to find out, in whatever way their power allows?

It seems some people are okay lowering the bar and that is most likely what Donald Trump is hoping. After all, he has had two years to dismiss claims of obstruction, to make people think even if he had involvement in the Wikileaks email dump it shouldn’t be a crime. Two years to dismiss the Russian investigation as a waste of time.

But none of that means Congress should drag it’s feet, as it has since Trump took office. Shouldn’t the idea be to get to the truth as fast as possible?

Looking the other way on what people might consider crimes (small or big) or ethical violations could actually be viewed as Congress shirking their responsibilities. Today on The View Conservative political analyst Ana Navarro said:

“The intelligence committee, I think, has got a duty to investigate whether this campaign of Trump’s colluded with Russia and what in the hell is this compromise that they have on him that he keeps coddling to this murderous dictator oligarch in Russia.”

“When you have a Congressional investigation, it might lead to legislation. For example, if this oversight committee comes up with something perhaps they should have legislation that requires Presidential candidates to release their taxes. That should be a requirement for running for president.”

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