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Trump Daily – 10/22/20 Jagshemash

Madison Cawthorn is a Republican House candidate who spoke at their convention. He’s published an attack website that included a criticism of a reporter who “quit his academia job in Boston to work for non-white males, like Cory Booker, who aims to ruin white males running for office.” The website has since been changed. At the time of publication, Cawthorn had not offered a statement.

The New York Post piece about Hunter Biden’s laptop was written by a journalist who refused to attach his name to the story because he doubted the veracity. One of the women whose name was attached had never had an article published in the paper before and previously worked for Sean Hannity. The Republicans are thinking this story is the “Clinton’s emails” of 2020 but it does not appear that anyone cares in the least. Among many other stories, Giuliani is claiming the hard drive which he’s had a copy of for quite some time has child pornography on it – a fact he has conveniently not mentioned until two weeks before the election. Right-wing media has alleged the laptop is now part of a money laundering investigation. They’re likely correct. What they’re leaving out is that Giuliani is the one under investigation. DNI Ratcliffe announced the laptop is definitely not part of any foreign disinformation campaign. The FBI contradicted him and have not reached that conclusion.

The Trump campaign accused Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer of promoting the assassination of president Trump because she displayed a sign saying “86 45.” 86 does not mean to kill. Both Trump and the campaign have been viciously attacking Whitmer just days after a right wing terrorist group was arrested for planning to kidnap her.

The Department of Justice is continuing to argue in court that when President Trump said “she’s not my type” of E. Jean Carroll, who is accusing him of rape, that he was acting in his official capacity as president and therefore should be defended by government lawyers, not his own personal lawyers. The goal here is to claim immunity to have the lawsuit tossed. Needless to say, denying an accusation of rape has nothing at all to do with the job of the president.

The New York Times has dropped another Trump tax story. Despite his claims of being tough on China, the president used a shell corporation to hide a Chinese bank account. His companies have been pursuing licensing deals in China which have not been previously disclosed.

The White House is looking into cutting off funding for all manner of government services which it has deemed “anarchist” cities. There are zero cities in the US experiencing any form of anarchy. What the president wants is for police to be more brutal with and arrest more protesters.

Lawyers have been unable to find the parents of 545 children who were separated at the border due to Trump’s kidnapping policy. The program was implemented without any sort of tracking system and parents were deported with absolutely no record of how to get in touch with them. Unable to complete the tasks themselves, Department of Justice lawyers eventually said that ACLU lawyers, along with other groups, should track down the parents themselves – which they’ve done. This should be one of the biggest stories in US political history.

Trump is considering firing FBI director Christopher Wray because Wray will not publicly announce that Hunter and Joe Biden are under investigation. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it is the exact same demand Trump made of the Ukrainian government which is what he was impeached over.

DNI Ratcliffe is trying to declassify a document, originated by House Republicans, that concludes Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf. This directly contradicts the finding of every US intelligence agency, the very groups Ratcliffe oversees. The Director of National Intelligence is not supposed to be a partisan position but Ratcliffe has been taking actions solely to benefit the Trump campaign.

Rudy Giuliani was taken in during a stunt for Sacha Baron Cohen’s new Borat movie. Giuliani has correctly pointed out that he was not taken in by Cohen himself and that he recognized him interrupting an interview. The interview itself was the setup. He ended up alone in a hotel room with an actress he thought was a Russian journalist. This is the president’s personal lawyer, placed in a compromising position by two actors. He is a massive national security threat from foreign agencies who are far more skilled at spycraft than Borat.

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Trump Daily 8/27/2020 – Catching Up Before the Final Convention Night

Doing one large write-up on the convention so here’s the other news you may have missed.

The Daily Beast detailed the relationship between Jared Kushner and Kirill Dmitriev who runs Russia’s sovereign wealth fund. Dmitriev will be familiar to you if you followed my coverage of the Mueller report. He set up covert meetings with Kushner and Erik Prince despite being under sanction by the United States. One of the earliest shipments of ventilators Kushner secured came from Dmitriev. They were never used as they were junk.

Trump has frequently warned of foreign governments somehow hacking mail-in voting. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has seen no evidence of this. Such large scale vote manipulation is functionally impossible because of how the US election system is run.

The NY Attorney General’s Office has detailed their investigation into The Trump Organization and it’s as we thought – they’re investing the group for lying about the value of properties both to banks and for tax purposes. Michael Cohen testified this was happening before Congress and the financial documents provided by Mary Trump to the New York Times proved it. Eric Trump is not cooperating with the investigation and his lawyer has alluded to him pleading the 5th amendment.

The Trump campaign released a fairly generic video about what a great job he’s done. All of the images used in the video are from stock footage. They just released another ad about how violent protests are across the country. The footage used for this ad is from Spain.

Per the former Chief of Staff at DHS, Trump was seeking ways to maim and injure immigrants at the border. DHS and CBP later considered using a microwave weapon which induces the feeling of your skin burning off. (This is a real device built by Raytheon though it has never been used.)

The CDC changed their guidelines to say people who have been directly exposed to someone with the virus do not need to be tested. This is a blatant attempt to decrease the number of reported cases before the election. The Covid-19 task force waited until Dr. Fauci was having surgery to discuss the change. Dr. Redfield partially walked back this change, but his statement no longer appears on the CDC website. This change came because of pressure from The White House.

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Trump Daily 8/21/2020 – They Knew

The Senate Intelligence Committee released its final report on Russian election interference this week. This post will be solely about that. As you read, keep a few things in mind. This report comes from a Republican run committee. The Democrats attached their own points at the end, but I’m not covering those. Everything you’ll read here came from Republicans. And every single one of those Republicans voted not just to acquit the president earlier this year, but voted against hearing ANY witnesses regarding his actions. They knew everything you’re about to read. They knew how incredibly corrupt he is. They knew his campaign was working with a hostile foreign intelligence agency. They knew and they did absolutely nothing about it.

  • The Republicans concluded that Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was “a grave counterintelligence threat” explicitly because he opened the campaign to Russian influence by handing over campaign data to Konstantin Kilimnik. No one from the Trump campaign has ever offered an explanation as to why they were sending internal data to a Russian intelligence agent.
  • The Republicans concluded Kilimnik was involved in Russia’s hack of the DNC email system. Kilimnik was a key figure in the Mueller investigation as he previously worked with Paul Manfort in supporting Ukrainian dictator Viktor Yanukovych. (Yes, the president’s campaign manager did PR for a foreign dictator)
  • The Republicans concluded that Michael Flynn lied to investigators about his conversations with Russian ambassador Kislyak. The Department of Justice is currently trying to get Flynn’s case dismissed after he pleaded guilty.
  • The Republicans concluded that Donald Trump lied to investigators regarding conversations with Roger Stone regarding Wikileaks. The president said in writing he had never discussed Wikileaks with Stone. He did on multiple occasions and directed Stone to start working with Wikileaks to learn when information would be released.
  • When the Trump campaign learned the Access Hollywood tape of the president bragging about grabbing women “by the pussy” was going to be released, Roger Stone immediately contacted an intermediary to ask Wikileaks to released the emails Russia had stolen from the DNC. Wikileaks complied and the emails were released half an hour after the Access Hollywood tape aired. The Trump campaign directed the timing of the release of data stolen by the Russian government.
  • The Republicans concluded that the Trump administration hid information from both the investigators and from Congress via dubious claims of executive privilege.

We learned this week that last summer the Senate Intelligence Committee issued criminal referrals for Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Steven Bannon, Erik Prince, and Sam Clovis. These were criminal referrals for lying to Congress issued by Republicans. It is unknown if the Department of Justice did anything with these referrals, but it’s not likely under Barr’s leadership.

Marco Rubio, Richard Burr, Jim Risch, Susan Collins, Roy Blunt, Tom Cotton, John Cornyn, and Ben Sasse all knew that Donald Trump’s campaign was sending information to a Russian intelligence agent. They knew that Trump lied to investigators. They knew the Trump campaign arranged for data stolen by Russian intelligence to be released at a time to help the Trump campaign. They knew multiple members of the Trump administration and campaign lied to Congress. They knew the Trump campaign was a dire intelligence risk. They knew all of these things and they chose to do nothing at all about them.

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Trump Daily 6/29/2020

  • Arena workers at Trump’s Tulsa rally were marking off seats in the arena to keep people safely apart from each other. The campaign made them stop and removed the stickers they were using.
  • Trump tweeted out a video of his supporters, thanking them. In the video, one of them chants “white power” several times. White House aides have told the press the video stayed up for several hours because the president could not be reached on the golf course. I believe the aides said that, but I do not believe it to be true. Even if Trump were unreachable, multiple people can access his account to delete something. Former Office of Government Ethics director Walter Shaub posited another theory – Trump had to be persuaded the video should come down. The president has not said a word about sending out a video to millions of people featuring one of his racist supporters chanting “white power.”
  • As the Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to throw out the entire ACA, HHS Secretary Azar has admitted the Republicans do not have a plan for a replacement. Millions of people will lose their health insurance and millions will be ineligible to get insurance because of pre-existing conditions. Trump often claims the Republicans are “better” on pre-existing conditions despite having absolutely no proposal for how to protect people with them.
  • In his ongoing crusade against mail voting, Trump said absentee voting was fine but mail-in voting would lead to “the most corrupt election in USA [sic] history.” In several states, there is no distinction at all between absentee voting and mail-in voting. And in several states, the ONLY way to vote is by mail.
  • Carl Bernstein expanded on something detailed in Bob Woodward’s book, Fear – high level officials horrified by how Trump interacts with foreign leaders. In short, he viciously berates our allies, while heaping praise on dictators. He accused Angela Merkel of being stupid. Angela Merkel has a Ph.D. in quantum chemistry. He also said she was in Putin’s pocket while simultaneously being differential when interacting with Putin. You should read this entire article: https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/06/29/politics/trump-phone-calls-national-security-concerns/index.html.
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Trump Daily 6/26/2020

New studies from Harvard Kennedy and the University of Chicago correlate right-wing news consumption with believe in misinformation about the coronavirus.

With millions losing their health insurance during the pandemic, the Trump administration has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court requesting that the entire ACA be struck down. Donald Trump for years now has maintained he will protect health care access to those with pre-existing conditions while never offering a mechanism for doing so.

In an NPR interview, AG Barr attacked voting by mail as an insecure system, vulnerable to fraud. Barr himself, along with multiple senior members of the Trump administration, votes by mail. Mail voting systems have multiple barriers to fraud that would be effectively impossible for a foreign power to exploit as Barr and Trump have warned of.

In response to testimony and a whistleblower complaint that the Department of Justice’s investigation into marijuana companies was predicated solely on Barr’s personal animus, the DoJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility responded that such investigations would be perfectly fine.

A GRU unit (Russian military intelligence) was paying bounties to terrorists in Afghanistan for killing Allied forces, including Americans. The president was briefed about this in March. The US has not responded in any way. After learning of these assassinations funded by Russia, the president pitched the idea of Russia rejoining the G7.

In the first Covid-19 task force press conference in 68 days, Pence casually estimated 240,000 Americans will die from Covid-19. The estimate coming from Trump and Pence has steadily increased since the beginning of the pandemic, when Trump said there were only 15 cases which would soon be near zero. Pence mentioned daily cases in OK declining while failing to mention it was a slight decline after a massive spike. Pence was twice asked about holding large rallies while the task force advises against large gatherings. And twice Pence responded by saying they had a first amendment right to free speech and assembly. The second time Pence took this question, he promptly ended the press conference, after having answered only six questions.

A 3 panel judge on the 9th circuit ruled that Trump diverting funds appropriated to military infrastructure projects to build the border wall was unconstitutional. (The Supreme Court decision regarding this subject dealt with a stay, not the merits of the case itself.) This will undoubtedly head to the Supreme Court, but likely won’t be resolved this year.

Ron Johnson is reviving his Senate investigation of Joe Biden’s son Hunter ahead of the November election. Hunter Biden has never been credibly accused of any specific wrongdoing.

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Trump Daily 12/20/19

  • Trump was impeached on Wednesday. During the debate, two Republicans compared impeachment to the crucifixion of Jesus, one Republican compared it to Pearl Harbor, and several compared it to the Salem Witch Trials. Louie Gohmert parroted a Russian conspiracy theory about Ukraine and lied about Ukraine invading Georgia. (Russia invaded Georgia.)
  • The Department of Homeland Security called impeachment a sham. It is not normal for a federal agency to offer a political opinion in this manner.
  • White House officials have told the media that Trump got his idea of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election directly from Vladimir Putin. This is not the first time the president has deferred to Putin, repeating what the Russian president has told him as fact.
  • The Epoch Times was caught by Facebook creating a large number of fake accounts to push pro-Trump and pro-Russia conspiracy theories. The accounts were AI generated but being operated out of Vietnam. Russia is likely involved. Their intelligence agencies are currently operating the same sort of social media infiltration as in 2016 and the US government has not made stopping it a priority… for some reason.
  • On the night of his impeachment Trump remarked that John Dingell might be in hell. Dingell served in the military during World War 2 and was the longest serving congressman in history, serving almost sixty years. His widow, Debbie Dingell, holds his seat in the House of Representatives. Trump didn’t think she was sufficiently grateful when he gave Dingell states’ honors – which he never did in the first place.

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Trump Daily 12/10/19

  • Democrats in the House have drafted two articles of impeachment. Philip Bump’s analysis is so good I’m not doing my own here. You can read his annotated copy of the articles here and his analysis here.
  • Prosecutors in the case against Rick Gates, who worked on the Trump campaign, are recommending zero prison time due to his extensive cooperation. They note that he was pressured to not cooperate and even offered payment to remain silent. We do not know who made these offers.
  • Trump lashed out at FBI director Christopher Wray after Wray accurately pointed out there were no political biases involved in starting the Russia investigation and that the investigation had sufficient cause. Attorney General Barr has publicly attacked the Inspector General report making these conclusions. This follows the Republican response to the IG report which is to simply lie about it.
  • Trump, who claims to be incredibly concerned about corruption, has now paid the $2 million fine for his corrupt charity. That’s not to be confused with the settlement he had to pay for his corrupt university.
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