Saturday, October 26, 2019

WHITE COLLAR CRIMINAL - THE CASE AGAINST DONALD TRUMP - He likes porn stars, as we’ve seen throughout his life. And he has these habits. He’ll push somebody against the wall and try and kiss them. He’ll grab a breast or a buttock. When he’s in a property that he owns, whether it be a hotel or Mar-a-Lago, he feels that he has the right to walk in on a woman in her room.


Is Trump the Worst President in History?



by Richard Striner
Richard Striner, a professor of history at Washington College, is the author of many books including Father Abraham: Lincoln’s Relentless Struggle to End Slavery and Lincoln’s Way: How Six Great Presidents Created American Power. 
As the chance of getting rid of Donald Trump — through impeachment or by voting him out — continues to dominate the headlines, the historical challenge is compelling.  No president has been a greater threat to the qualities that make the United States of America worthy (at its best) of our allegiance. 
The rise of Trump and his movement was so freakish that historians will analyze its nature for a long time.  From his origins as a real estate hustler, this exhibitionist sought attention as a TV vulgarian.  Susceptible television viewers found his coarse behavior amusing. Then he announced that he was running for the presidency and it looked for a while like just another cheap publicity stunt. 
But his name-calling tactics struck a chord with a certain group of voters.   Our American scene began to darken.  Before long, he was hurling such vicious abuse that it ushered in a politics of rage. As his egomania developed into full megalomania, the “alt-right” gravitated toward him. 
The “movement” had started. 
More and more, to the horror of everyone with power to see and understand, he showed a proto-fascist mentality.  So alarms began to spread: mental health professionals warned that he exemplifies “malignant narcissism.” 
Never before in American history has the presidential office passed into the hands of a seditionist.  And the use of this term is appropriate.  With no conception of principles or limits — “I want” is his political creed —he mocks the rule of law at every turn.
At a police convention in 2017, he urged the officers in attendance to ignore their own regulations and brutalize the people they arrest.  He pardoned ex-Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt of court.  He appointed Scott Pruitt to head the EPA so he could wreck the agency and let polluters have the spree of their lives. 
Trump is fascinated by powerful dictators with little regard to human rights or democracy. He compliments Vladimir Putin and hopes to invite that murderer to stay in the White House.  He likes Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, a tyrant who subverts that nation’s democracy. 
So, Trump certainly has the personality of a fascist.  But he is not quite as dangerous as other authoritarians in history. 
In the first place, he lacks the fanatical vision that drove the great tyrants like Hitler and Stalin to pursue their sick versions of utopia.  He is nothing but a grubby opportunist.  He has no ideas, only appetites.   The themes that pass for ideas in the mind of Donald Trump begin as prompts that are fed to him by others — Stephen Miller, Sean Hannity, and (once upon a time) Steve Bannon. To be sure, he would fit right in among the despots who tyrannize banana-republics.  But that sort of a political outcome in America is hard to envision at the moment. 
Second, American traditions — though our current crisis shows some very deep flaws in our constitutional system — are strong enough to place a limit on the damage Trump can do.  If he ordered troops to occupy the Capitol, disperse the members of Congress, and impose martial law, the chance that commanders or troops would carry out such orders is nil. 
Third, Americans have faced challenges before. Many say he is our very worst president — bar none.  And how tempting it is to agree.  But a short while ago, people said the same thing about George W. Bush, who of course looks exemplary now when compared to our presidential incumbent. 
The “worst president.” 
“Worst,” of course, is a value judgment that is totally dependent on our standards for determining “badness.”  And any number of our presidents were very bad indeed — or so it could be argued. 
Take Andrew Jackson, with his belligerence, his simple-mindedness, his racism as reflected in the Indian Removal Act of 1830.  Take all the pro-slavery presidents before the Civil War who tried to make the enslavement of American blacks perpetual:  John Tyler, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan. Take James K. Polk and his squalid war of aggression against Mexico.  Take Andrew Johnson, who did everything he could to ruin the lives of the newly-freed blacks after Lincoln’s murder. 
The list could go on indefinitely, depending on our individual standards for identifying “badness.”  Shall we continue?  Consider Ulysses S. Grant and Warren G. Harding, so clueless in regard to the comparatively easy challenge of preventing corruption among their associates.  Or consider Grover Cleveland and Herbert Hoover, who blinded themselves to the desperation of millions in economic depressions.  And Richard Nixon, the only president to date who has resigned the office in disgrace. 
Which brings us to Trump. 
However incompetent or even malevolent some previous American presidents were, this one is unique. The Trump presidency is a singular aberration, a defacement of norms and ideals without precedent.  However bad some other presidents were all of them felt a certain basic obligation to maintain at least a semblance of dignity and propriety in their actions. 
Not Trump. 
Foul beyond words, he lurches from one brutal whim to another, seeking gratification in his never-ending quest to humiliate others. He spews insults in every direction all day.  He makes fun of the handicapped.  He discredits journalists in order to boost the credibility of crackpots and psychopathic bigots.  He accuses reporters of creating “fake news” so he can generate fake news himself: spew a daily torrent of hallucinatory lies to his gullible followers. 
He amuses himself — with the help of his money and the shyster lawyers that it pays for — in getting away with a lifetime’s worth of compulsive frauds that might very well lead to prosecutions (later) if the evidence has not been destroyed and if the statute of limitations has not expired. 
So far, however, he is always too brazen to get what he deserves, too slippery for anyone to foil.   
Anyone with half of ounce of decency can see this wretched man for what he is.  They know what’s going on, and yet there’s nothing they can do to make it stop.  And that adds to Trump’s dirty satisfaction. Any chance to out-maneuver the decent — to infuriate them — quickens his glee.  It makes his victory all the more rotten, incites him to keep on taunting his victims.   
It’s all a big joke to Donald Trump, and he can never, ever, get enough of it.  
The question must be asked:  when in our lifetimes — when in all the years that our once-inspiring Republic has existed — have American institutions been subjected to such treatment?  How long can American morale and cohesion survive this? 
Nancy Pelosi has said that in preference to seeing Trump impeached, she would like to see him in jail.  Current Justice Department policy — which forbids the indictment of presidents — makes it possible for Trump to break our nation’s laws with impunity.  Impeachment is useless if the Senate’s Republicans, united in their ruthlessness and denial, take the coward’s way out. 
So the prospect of locking him up may have to wait.  But the day of reckoning for this fake — this imposter who will never have a glimmer of clue as to how to measure up to his office — may come in due time.  Then the presidential fake who accuses his victims of fakery will live with some things that are real:  stone walls, iron bars, a nice prison haircut, and the consequences of his actions.

The Kitchen-Table Case for Impeaching Trump

 

The president’s abuses of power are materially hurting regular people.
After months of waiting, the House Judiciary Committee has finally voted to open an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. With that tedious “will-they-or-won’t-they” question out of the way, the logical next question is: can impeachment succeed? The answer is a resounding yes. But getting there will require a strategic reorientation away from a sluggish and legalistic examination of Trump’s offenses via recalcitrant witnesses and toward a broader consideration of how his systemic abuses of power have materially hurt regular people.
The continued reticence of so many Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to support impeachment is based on two premises. The first is that impeachment is modestly unpopular, which is true, so far as it goes. The second is the conventional wisdom that impeaching President Clinton backfired on House Republicans.
Look a little closer at the second contention, however, and it quickly falls apart. The case against Trump is vastly stronger than that against Clinton. While Clinton’s alleged crimes were largely committed in the interest of avoiding embarrassment, Trump’s represent clear abuses of power with malignant implications. The second flank of the argument—that impeaching Clinton “backfired” on Republicans—is more myth than reality. Republicans may have lost the House in the next election cycle, but Clinton’s impeachment was a nontrivial factor in Al Gore’s 2000 loss. Therefore, we join other observers in choosing to view this “example” as evidence in support of impeaching Trump.
But the polling argument is particularly short-sighted. Voters take cues from political leaders about how to react to political events. For months, the overwhelming cue on impeachment from Democratic leaders like Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Joe Biden has been to stand down. This inhibition has created a negative feedback loop in which impeachment-phobic lawmakers convince voters not to support impeachment, and then point to lukewarm public support to justify their passivity. Rinse and repeat.
Five months after the release of the Mueller report, this message has pretty well stuck. After all, if the special counsel’s findings were so serious, they should have been acted on immediately, right? Much as a gourmet meal is never as good reheated, Democrats cannot expect to ignore evidence of impeachable conduct in the spring and have it be as fresh and tasty when zapped in the autumn. Just take a gander at this week’s House Judiciary hearing with Corey Lewandowski to see how unappetizing this fare has become.
While the Mueller report surely provided enough evidence to justify impeaching Trump on substantive grounds, hesitant lawmakers have largely drained it of much of its political force (and impeachment is an inherently political process).
To overcome this damage, impeachment backers will have to make opposition to impeachment untenable with voters, thereby short-circuiting the aforementioned negative feedback loop. That means focusing on the ways in which Trump’s corruption has made life harder and more dangerous for millions of Americans. In other words, impeachment should focus above all on his failure to carry out his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” By emphasizing how impeachment is relevant to the “kitchen-table” issues that keep regular people up at night—like low wages or exorbitant healthcare premiums—the House Judiciary Committee can inspire a swell of grassroots pressure that will give reluctant legislators no choice but to back the effort.
The issues tackled in Mueller’s report, like obstruction of justice, are removed from people’s day-to-day lives. Of course, there is nothing inherently insufficient with such a basis for impeachment; were it not for the Democratic leadership’s opposition, impeachment proceedings would have begun in April. Still, more Americans agonize over how to pay back their student loans, or whether to incur the costs of seeing a doctor when uninsured, than discuss “the role of law.” The Mueller report, therefore. likely strikes most Americans as “political” and is less likely to inspire new broad-based support for impeachment.
The same goes for the proposed lines of inquiry in Judiciary’s newly expanded investigations. The committee will reportedly examine Trump’s alleged abuse of presidential pardons, hush-money payments, and use of office for personal enrichment. While these scandals are undoubtedly important, they don’t penetrate the lives of ordinary people.
That doesn’t mean that Democrats should not pursue any of these alleged crimes; the public deserves to know as much as possible about any president’s corruption, and Congress is best suited to furnish those answers. But these matters should not sit alone at the center of the Democrats’ case for impeachment. An impeachment inquiry is a way to control the national conversation. While bills passed by House Democrats predictably get little attention from most of the media, an impeachment hearing is guaranteed to achieve the scarcest political resource in 2019—the attention of voters.
Given that platform, lawmakers have a lot to choose from. In light of recent revelations that the number of uninsured people has risen for the first time since 2009, lawmakers might want to start by investigating how Trump has undermined the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
You might say that Trump’s health care moves are reprehensible, but are they really impeachable? Ask Thaddeus Stevens, the Pennsylvania representative who was the catalyst behind Andrew Johnson’s impeachment and the author of an article of impeachment accusing Johnson of failing to “take care” that the Tenure of Office Act be faithfully executed. Other articles accused Johnson of offenses including insulting Congress and unlawfully firing his Secretary of War, but this one got at his most serious transgression: failing to honor and enforce the laws as Congress had intended.
Trump has made no secret of his disdain for Obama’s healthcare law, but whether he likes it or not, it’s his duty to administer it unless and until Congress passes a new one or repeals it. Rather than faithfully carrying out that responsibility, Trump has sought to destroy the law. On his first day in office, he signed an executive order directing agencies to use all of the tools at their disposal to undermine the statute—and they have faithfully complied. His administration also shortened the open enrollment period, cut ACA’s advertising budget, and slashed tax credits for enrollees. Trump is not coy about his intentions. “I have just about ended Obamacare,” he once said. Congress should demonstrate its commitment to improving Americans’ health care access by nailing Trump for his considerable efforts to “end” a lawful program by executive action that he could not repeal legislatively.
There are other matters that need a deeper probe. Lawmakers should investigate whether Trump’s administration has intentionally slowed the allocation of aid to Puerto Rico. Last week, as Puerto Ricans braced for Hurricane Dorian’s potential landfall, many did so without a proper roof over their heads, surrounded by many other reminders of Hurricane Maria’s destruction. This hardly seems like an accident: two years after Maria, the scandal-riddled Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has only approved funding for nine projects out of 10,000 applications. Meanwhile, in an unprecedented move, the executive branch is holding up a Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) headed for the U.S. territory. The administration’s refusal to effectively administer this recovery aid is not some distant problem. Puerto Ricans (including the diaspora living in Florida and elsewhere on the U.S. mainland) feel it every day in the way of destroyed roads, damaged schools, the lack of a proper roof over many of their heads, or having been forced to leave the island altogether.
It seems impossible to imagine that Trump’s failure “to take care” is unrelated to the animus he has shown toward Latinx communities since the day he announced his presidential campaign. More broadly, it is even harder to argue that a president can faithfully execute the law under our Constitution when he openly views the government’s obligations to people as dependent on their race or religion—as his “Muslim ban” makes evidently clear.
Lawmakers should also look into Trump’s decision to allow three unconfirmed, unqualified, Mar-a-Lago members to essentially run the Department of Veterans’ Affairs from the resort. Has Trump’s reliance on his paying customers to run the VA in any way hurt the millions of veterans who rely on the department’s services each year? The public has a right to know. The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs opened an investigation into these puppeteers last winter, but the administration’s stonewalling appears to have hindered meaningful progress.
Trump’s appointees have harmed regular people in myriad other ways. Take, for example, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ failure to administer loan forgiveness programs, even after having been ordered by a court to do so. That has left thousands of people suffering under the crushing yoke of student loans they were promised would be discharged. At the same time, her department’s laughable oversight of loan servicers is delaying forgiveness for hundreds of thousands more. Given her absolute disregard for her responsibilities as Education Secretary, why has she not been removed? Quite clearly, Trump feels no compunction about running afoul of his obligation to “take care” to execute the law, even if that means flat out ignoring court orders.
House members must not only persuade voters to embrace impeachment with the righteousness of their case, but also with the urgency of their actions. That means issuing subpoenas far more liberally—and suing when necessary to enforce them without delay. Indeed, the fact that Trump admits “we are fighting all the subpoenas” reflects acknowledgement that he is undermining Congressional oversight, which was itself a key element of the third article of impeachment against Richard Nixon.
Basic political horse sense suggests that investigating how Trump’s team is hiding evidence of their alleged lawlessness would help generate attention to the actions they are covering up. If pursued effectively, such a probe can impose a steep political cost.
Ultimately, Congress should view its investigatory scope broadly. It should vigorously examine as many instances of Trump’s corruption as possible. But his crimes against the American people should sit at the center of their effort.
To treat them as secondary, as lawmakers have done thus far, misses the larger point. The intentional harm Trump has inflicted on Americans, whom he is tasked with protecting, represents by far his most egregious violation of his Constitutional oath of office. Lawmakers should respond accordingly.

The (Full) Case for Impeachment

A menu of high crimes and misdemeanors.
The crimes for which impeachment is the prescribed punishment are notoriously undefined. And that’s for a reason: Presidential powers are vast, and it’s impossible to design laws to cover every possible abuse of the office’s authority. House Democrats have calculated that an impeachment focused narrowly on the Ukraine scandal will make the strongest legal case against President Trump. But that’s not Trump’s only impeachable offense. A full accounting would include a wide array of dangerous and authoritarian acts — 82, to be precise. His violations fall into seven broad categories of potentially impeachable misconduct that should be weighed, if not by the House, then at least by history.

I. Abusing Power for Political Gain

Explanation: The single most dangerous threat to any democratic system is that the ruling party will use its governing powers to entrench itself illegitimately.
Evidence: (1) The Ukraine scandal is fundamentally about the president abusing his authority by wielding his power over foreign policy as a cudgel against his domestic opponents. The president is both implicitly and explicitly trading the U.S. government’s favor for investigations intended to create adverse publicity for Americans whom Trump wishes to discredit. (2) During his campaign, he threatened to impose policies harmful to Amazon in retribution for critical coverage in the Washington Post. (“If I become president, oh do they have problems.”) He has since pushed the postmaster general to double rates on Amazon, and the Defense Department held up a $10 billion contract with Amazon, almost certainly at his behest. (3) He has ordered his officials to block the AT&T–Time Warner merger as punishment for CNN’s coverage of him. (4) He encouraged the NFL to blacklist Colin Kaepernick.

II. Mishandling Classified Information

Explanation: As he does with many other laws, the president enjoys broad immunity from regulations on the proper handling of classified information, allowing him to take action that would result in felony convictions for other federal employees. President Trump’s mishandling of classified information is not merely careless but a danger to national security.
Evidence: (5) Trump has habitually communicated on a smartphone highly vulnerable to foreign espionage. (6–30) He has reversed 25 security-clearance denials (including for his son-in-law, who has conducted potentially compromising business with foreign interests). (31) He has turned Mar-a-Lago into an unsecured second White House and even once handled news of North Korea’s missile launch in public view. (32) He gave Russian officials sensitive Israeli intelligence that blew “the most valuable source of information on external plotting by [the] Islamic State,” the Wall Street Journal reported(33) He tweeted a high-resolution satellite image of an Iranian launch site for the sake of boasting.

III. Undermining Duly Enacted Federal Law

Explanation: President Trump has abused his authority either by distorting the intent of laws passed by Congress or by flouting them. He has directly ordered subordinates to violate the law and has promised pardons in advance, enabling him and his staff to operate with impunity. In these actions, he has undermined Congress’s constitutional authority to make laws.
Evidence: (34) Having failed to secure funding authority for a border wall, President Trump unilaterally ordered funds to be moved from other budget accounts. (35) He has undermined regulations on health insurance under the Affordable Care Act preventing insurers from charging higher rates to customers with more expensive risk profiles. (36) He has abused emergency powers to impose tariffs, intended to protect the supply chain in case of war, to seize from Congress its authority to negotiate international trade agreements. (37–38) He has ordered border agents to illegally block asylum seekers from entering the country and has ordered other aides to violate eminent-domain laws and contracting procedures in building the border wall, (39–40) both times promising immunity from lawbreaking through presidential pardons.

IV. Obstruction of Congress

Explanation: The executive branch and Congress are co-equal, each intended to guard against usurpation of authority by the other. Trump has refused to acknowledge any legitimate oversight function of Congress, insisting that because Congress has political motivations, it is disqualified from it. His actions and rationale strike at the Constitution’s design of using the political ambitions of the elected branches to check one another.
Evidence: (41) Trump has refused to abide by a congressional demand to release his tax returns, despite an unambiguous law granting the House this authority. His lawyers have flouted the law on the spurious grounds that subpoenas for his tax returns “were issued to harass President Donald J. Trump, to rummage through every aspect of his personal finances, his businesses and the private information of the president and his family, and to ferret about for any material that might be used to cause him political damage.” Trump’s lawyers have argued that Congress cannot investigate potentially illegal behavior by the president because the authority to do so belongs to prosecutors. In other litigation, those lawyers have argued that prosecutors cannot investigate the president. These contradictory positions support an underlying stance that no authority can investigate his misconduct. (42) He has defended his refusal to accept oversight on the grounds that members of Congress “aren’t, like, impartial people. The Democrats are trying to win 2020.” (43) The president has also declared that impeachment is illegal and should be stopped in the courts (though, unlike with his other obstructive acts, he has not yet taken any legal action toward this end).

V. Obstruction of Justice

Explanation: By virtue of his control over the federal government’s investigative apparatus, the president (along with the attorney general) is uniquely well positioned to cover up his own misconduct. Impeachment is the sole available remedy for a president who uses his powers of office to hold himself immune from legal accountability. In particular, the pardon power gives the president almost unlimited authority to obstruct investigations by providing him with a means to induce the silence of co-conspirators.
Evidence: (44–53) The Mueller report contains ten instances of President Trump engaging in obstructive acts. While none of those succeeded in stopping the probe, Trump dangled pardons and induced his co-conspirators to lie or withhold evidence from investigators. Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen testified to Congress that Trump had directed him to lie to it about his negotiations with the Russian government during the campaign to secure a lucrative building contract in Moscow. And when Cohen stated his willingness to lie, Robert Costello, an attorney who had worked with Rudy Giuliani, emailed Cohen assuring him he could “sleep well tonight” because he had “friends in high places.” Trump has publicly praised witnesses in the Russia investigation for refusing to cooperate, and he sent a private message to former national-security adviser Michael Flynn urging him to “stay strong.” He has reinforced this signal by repeatedly denouncing witnesses who cooperate with investigators as “flippers.” (54–61) He has exercised his pardon power for a series of Republican loyalists, sending a message that at least some of his co-conspirators have received. The president’s pardon of conservative pundit Dinesh D’Souza “has to be a signal to Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort and even Robert S. Mueller III: Indict people for crimes that don’t pertain to Russian collusion and this is what could happen,” Roger Stone told the Washington Post“The special counsel has awesome powers, as you know, but the president has even more awesome powers.”

VI. Profiting From Office

Explanation: Federal employees must follow strict rules to prevent them from being influenced by any financial conflict. Conflict-of-interest rules are less clear for a sitting president because all presidential misconduct will be resolved by either reelection or impeachment. If Trump held any position in the federal government below the presidency, he would have been fired for his obvious conflicts. His violations are so gross and blatant they merit impeachment.
Evidence: (62) He has maintained a private business while holding office, (63) made decisions that influence that business, (64) and accepted payments from parties both domestic and foreign who have an interest in his policies. (65) He has openly signaled that these parties can gain his favor by doing so. (66) He has refused even to disclose his interests, which would at least make public which parties are paying him.

VII. Fomenting Violence

Explanation: One of the unspoken roles of the president is to serve as a symbolic head of state. Presidents have very wide latitude for their political rhetoric, but Trump has violated its bounds, exceeding in his viciousness the rhetoric of Andrew Johnson (who was impeached in part for the same offense).
Evidence: (67) Trump called for locking up his 2016 opponent after the election. (68–71) He has clamored for the deportation of four women of color who are congressional representatives of the opposite party. (72) He has described a wide array of domestic political opponents as treasonous, including the news media. (73–80) On at least eight occasions, he has encouraged his supporters — including members of the armed forces — to attack his political opponents. (“I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump — I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”) (81) He has threatened journalists with violence if they fail to produce positive coverage. (“If the media would write correctly and write accurately and write fairly, you’d have a lot less violence in the country.”) (82) There have been 36 criminal cases nationwide in which the defendant invoked Trump’s name in connection with violence; 29 of these cited him as the inspiration for an attack.
*This article appears in the October 14, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!


PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES DONALD TRUMP: pathological liar, swindler, con man, huckster, golfing cheat, charity foundation fraudster, tax evader, adulterer, porn whore chaser and servant of the Saudis dictators
THE TRUMP FAMILY FOUNDATION SLUSH FUND…. Will they see jail?
VISUALIZE REVOLUTION!.... We know where they live!
“Underwood is a Democrat and is seeking millions of dollars in penalties. She wants Trump and his eldest children barred from running other charities.”
ANN COULTER
TRUMP’S PARASITIC FAMILY
 Jared’s BFF, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Muhammad bin Zayed (MBZ), refer to Jared as “the clown prince.” Bone-cutter MBS assured those around him that he had Jared “in my pocket.” 

Following meetings at the White House and also with the Kushners over their 666 Fifth Avenue property, former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim reported back to the emir that “the people atop the new administration were heavily motivated by personal financial interest.” 

“Truthfully, It Is Tough To Ignore Some Of The Gross Immoral Behavior By The President” WASHINGTON POST

 

Trump's sister quits as a federal judge 10 days into formal probe of her possible role in massive family tax scam that could have ended in her impeachment


·          Trump's older sister resigned as an appellate court judge shortly after a probe opened into her involvement in a family tax scheme
·        

·         10 days ago an investigation into whether Maryanne Trump Barry violated judicial conduct rules launched
·        

·         The case was closed after Barry resigned because retired judges are not subject to the rules
·        

·         Barry had not heard a case in two years after transitioning to inactive shortly after Trump's inauguration 
·        

·         The Trump siblings were probed after an investigation found they were involved in a tax scheme related to the transfer of their father's real estate empire 
·          




President Donald Trump’s older sister Maryanne Trump Barry, 82, retired as a federal judge just days after an investigation opened into her possible role in family tax fraud scheme.
Barry was a federal appellate judge in the third district, which includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and the investigation could have led to her impeachment.
She had not presided over a case in more than two years, but was still listed as an inactive senior judge in the third district – usually the step taken before full retirement.
Barry did not give any reasons for her retirement. 
The probe into the Trumps was first opened last fall, after a New York Times investigation found the Trump siblings engaged in tax schemes in the 1990s, including fraud, that increased their inherited wealth.
+4
Maryanne Trump Barry resigned as a federal appellate judge 10 days into an investigation into whether she violated judicial conduct rules

An investigation into the Trump siblings opened after the New York Times reported that they transferred their father's real estate assets improperly in the 1990s 
The formal investigation into whether Barry violated judicial conduct rules started ten days ago, but was closed after Barry announced her retirement since retired judges are not subject to judicial conduct rules.
These reviews could result in the censure or reprimand of federal judges, but in some more extreme cases, the judge could be referred to the House of Representatives for impeachment.
It appears Barry will receive somewhere between $184,500 and $217,600 annually, the same salary she earned when she last met certain workload requirements before changing her status to inactive.
The Times investigation into the Trump’s alleged that Fred Trump transferred his real estate empire profits and ownership to his four children, including the president, Barry, brother Robert Trump, and their sister Elizabeth Trump Grau, in ways designed to dodge gift and estate taxes.
+4
Barry, pictured above with sister Elizabeth Trump Grau, was a senior inactive judge, which is the step taken usually before full retirement, and had not heard a case in over two year.

Trump's lawyer Charles Hardner said that the allegations made as a result of the Times' investigation is '100 per cent false' and accused the newspaper of defamation

“The New York Times’s allegations of fraud and tax evasion are 100 per cent false, and highly defamatory,” a lawyer for Trump, Charles Hardner, said last October. 

Barry was elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit by President Bill Clinton in 1999, and shortly after Trump’s inauguration, in February 2017, she notified the court she would stop hearing cases without citing a reason.

At this point she became a senior inactive judge and gave up her staff and chambers.

ANN COULTER: WILL THE GLOBALIST DEMOCRAT PARTY FOR BANKSTERS AND BILLIONAIRES DESTROY AMERICA?


I would also go to all of the working class that are in America, construction workers in particular. Their salaries have not just stagnated, they have gone down in the last 20 years. These are the least among us. We are the only ones not speaking out of self-interest. …

Most of the people who are advocating for open borders … they have a vested in interest in having either the cheap labor or the Democratic voters. Their neighborhoods aren’t the ones being overwhelmed. They get the cheap maids, the cheap nannies, and then they strut around like they’re Martin Luther King.

No, you are talking in your self-interest, Chamber of Commerce, and Koch brothers, and Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer. It’s Donald Trump and our side who are actually caring about our fellow Americans — the kids who are getting addicted to black tar heroin. …

The heroin problem in this country is 100 percent a problem of not having a wall on the border. And 70,000 Americans are dying every year. That’s more that died in the entire Vietnam War. That is a national emergency.  ANN COULTER

 ANN COULTER EXPOSES TRUMP’S “WALL” HOAX



In fact, Trump is steadily moving in the precise opposite direction of what he promised.

Illegal immigration is on track to hit the highest levels in more than a decade, and Trump has willfully decided to keep amnesty advocates Jared, Ivanka, Mick Mulvaney, Marc Short, and Mercedes Schlapp in the White House. For all his talk about immigration, did he ever consider hiring people who share his MAGA vision?

THE TRUMP FAMILY FOUNDATION SLUSH FUND…. Will they see jail?
VISUALIZE REVOLUTION!.... We know where they live!
“Underwood is a Democrat and is seeking millions of dollars in penalties. She wants Trump and his eldest children barred from running other charities.”
TRUMP’S CRAP ON BORDERS AND HIS PRETEND WALL IS ONLY ONE MORE TRUMP HOAX!
Only a complete fool would believe that Trump is any more for American Legal workers than the Democrat Party for Billionaires and Banksters!
“Trump Administration Betrays Low-Skilled American Workers.”
The latest ad from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) asks Trump to reject the mass illegal and legal immigration policies supported by Wall Street, corporate executives, and most specifically, the GOP mega-donor Koch brothers.
Efforts by the big business lobby, Chamber of Commerce, Koch brothers, and George W. Bush Center include increasing employment-based legal immigration that would likely crush the historic wage gains that Trump has delivered for America’s blue collar and working class citizens.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Silicon Valley investors are uniting with the Koch network’s consumer and industrial investors to demand a huge DACA amnesty

*

A handful of Republican and Democrat lawmakers are continuing to tout a plan that gives amnesty to nearly a million illegal aliens in exchange for some amount of funding for President Trump’s proposed border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.


THE DEATH OF THE AMERICAN MIDDLE-CLASS
THE ASSAULT ON THE AMERICAN WORKER BY PHONY POPULIST SWAMP KEEPER TRUMP


Companies say they often pay good wages to their imported H-2B workers, often around $15 per hour. But that price is below the wages sought by Americans for the seasonal work which leaves them jobless in the off-season. The lower wages paid to H-2Bs also allows companies to pay lower wages to their American supervisors. NEIL MUNRO

WHAT WILL TRUMP AND HIS PARASITIC FAMILY DO FOR MONEY???
JUST ASK THE SAUDIS!

JOHN DEAN: Not so far. This has been right by the letter of the special counsel’s charter. He’s released the document. What I’m looking for is relief and understanding that there’s no witting or unwitting likelihood that the President is an agent of Russia. That’s when I’ll feel comfortable, and no evidence even hints at that. We don’t have that yet. We’re still in the process of unfolding the report to look at it. And its, as I say, if [Attornery General William Barr] honors his word, we’ll know more soon.
“Our entire crony capitalist system, Democrat and Republican alike, has become a kleptocracy approaching par with third-world hell-holes.  This is the way a great country is raided by its elite.” ---- Karen McQuillan AMERICAN THINKER

ANN COULTER EXPOSES TRUMP’S “WALL” HOAX

In fact, Trump is steadily moving in the precise opposite direction of what he promised.

Illegal immigration is on track to hit the highest levels in more than a decade, and Trump has willfully decided to keep amnesty advocates Jared, Ivanka, Mick Mulvaney, Marc Short, and Mercedes Schlapp in the White House. For all his talk about immigration, did he ever consider hiring people who share his MAGA vision?

TRUMP’S CATCH AND RELEASE… all the “cheap” labor climbing our borders, jobs and welfare lines!
THE ENTIRE REASON TRUMP NOMINATED KIRSTJEN NIELSEN WAS BECAUSE OF HER LONG HISTORY OF ADVOCATING OPEN BORDERS TO KEEP WAGES DEPRESSED!

In newly confirmed federal data from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, Breitbart News has learned the massive scale and scope of DHS’s ramped up Catch and Release policy.

For months, DHS officials have said privately that the Catch and Release program has been taken to new heights, while ICE union officials declared this week that the program was in “overdrive” under the direction of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.  JOHN BINDER

TRUMP AND THE MURDERING 9-11 MUSLIM SAUDIS…
Why is the Swamp Keeper and his family of parasites up their ar$es??
TRUMP’S TAX BILL:
A massive tax cut for his plundering Goldman Sachs infested administration.

TRUMP’S SECRET AMNESTY, WIDER OPEN BORDERS DOCTRINE TO KEEP WAGES DEPRESSED.

"During the same month that Schlafly had backed Trump for his “America First”

 

agenda, Nielsen’s committee released an ideologically-globalist report, promoting

 

the European migrant crisis as a win for big business who would profit greatly

 

from a never-ending stream of cheap, foreign migrants."

TRUMPERNOMICS FOR THE RICH…. and his parasitic family!
Report: Trump Says He Doesn't Care About the National Debt Because the Crisis Will Hit After He's Gone


 "Trump's alleged comment is maddening and disheartening,
but at least he's being straightforward about his indefensible
and self-serving neglect.  I'll leave you with 
this reminder of the scope of the problem, not that anyone in power is going to do a damn thing about it."

TRUMPERNOMICS:

THE RICH APPLAUD TWITTER’S TRUMP’S TAX CUTS FOR THE SUPER RICH!

"The tax overhaul would mean an unprecedented windfall for the super-rich, on top

of the fact that virtually all income gains during the period of the supposed

recovery from the financial crash of 2008 have gone to the top 1 percent income

bracket."

TRUMPS INFORMS NARCOMEX:

THE PACT BETWEEN MEXICO AND TRUMP… NO WALL, NO REAL ENFORCEMENT.

 

http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2017/08/did-trump-promise-mexico-no-pardon-for.html

Swamp Keeper Trump prepares for the inevitable move to impeach him and ask for asylum in Scotland.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in an interview Thursday that President Donald Trump has succeeded as a conversation starter but has failed to keep his most important campaign promises.

“His chief promises were that he would build the wall, de-fund Planned Parenthood, and repeal Obamacare, and he hasn’t done any of those things,” Carlson told Urs Gehriger of the Swiss weekly Die Weltwoche.

TRUMP POSITIONS HIMSELF FOR IMPEACHMENT
MAY LEAVE THE COUNTRY FOR HIS GOLF COURSE IN SCOTLAND

“Truthfully, It Is Tough To Ignore Some Of The Gross Immoral Behavior By The President” WASHINGTON POST


“Mueller and the anti-Trump camp within the ruling elite know very well that the billionaire New York real estate and gambling speculator-turned president is mired in criminal activity, which is certain to be reflected in the material seized from Cohen. They have Trump by the throat, and Trump knows it.”
*
“Our entire crony capitalist system, Democrat and Republican alike, has become a kleptocracy approaching par with third-world hell-holes.  This is the way a great country is raided by its elite.” ----Karen McQuillan AMERICAN THINKER
*

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen testified before the House Oversight Committee Wednesday that the “whole Trump family” was potentially comprised by a foreign power ahead of the 2016 presidential election.


"Trump's alleged comment is maddening and disheartening,  but at least he's being straightforward about his indefensible and self-serving neglect.  I'll leave you with this reminder of the scope of the problem, not that anyone in power is going to do a damn thing about it."


Banks Give Congress Documents on Possible Trump Dealings with Russians

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
8 Aug 20195,146
2:41

A group of banks has turned over documents on Russians who may have done business with President Donald Trump following a request from Congress, a Thursday report states.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Deutsche Bank gave lawmakers thousands of documents as part of a joint investigation by the House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees into possible foreign influence over President Trump and members of his family. The former committee is chaired by none other than impeachment crusaders Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). These financial institutions are expected to transfer more documents to congressional investigators in the coming weeks, the Journal said.
Lawmakers issued subpoenas for the information in April.
“Separately, Deutsche Bank, Mr. Trump’s primary bank, has turned over emails, loan agreements and other documents related to the Trump Organization to the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, in response to a civil subpoena sent earlier this year, according to people familiar with the New York investigation,” the newspaper reports.
In April, President Trump, his three oldest children, and the Trump Organization sued Deutsche Bank and Capital One to prevent them from handing over their financial records to Congress. The president and his former real estate company also filed a lawsuit to block a subpoena from the House Oversight Committee seeking financial documents from Mazars, an accounting firm.
Last month, President Trump filed a civil lawsuit to prevent the House Ways and Means Committee from obtaining his tax returns from New York state officials.
The lawsuit, which was filed July 23rd in Washington against the House panel, New York State Attorney General Letitia James, and New York State Department of Taxation and Finance commissioner Michael Schmidt, seeks an injunction to block a new state law. The law would allow the Democrat-controlled House and Ways Means Committee to obtain the president’s tax returns.
“Once it became clear that Treasury would not divulge the President’s federal tax returns, New York passed a law allowing the Committee to get his state returns,” reads the court filing. “That hyper-specific condition was, not coincidentally, already satisfied for the intended target of the Act: President Trump.”
The committee sued the Treasury Department and IRS officials in an attempt to enforce a law that allows its chairman, Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), to obtain any taxpayer’s returns.

Millennials lose it when the guy who owns their favorite companies fundraises for Trump

While the multiple mass shootings and stabbings in the U.S. in the past few weeks upset many, nothing exercised the minds of wealthy fit liberals as learning that the investor of their favored, elitist, expensive gyms, or as the wealthy fit liberals refer to them, fitness centers, they attend was hosting a fundraiser last night for... President Donald J. Trump (R).  And hosting it, no less, in the exclusive, elitist playground of the East Cost liberal and wealthy: the Hamptons.
Entrust it to Vox, to ponder the dilemma of the oh, so self-labeled hip who exercise at, or work out as they refer their imposed sweat inducing contortions at, Equinox and Soul Cycle, to keep their butts tight and their minds closed.
But it can be particularly surprising to consumers when brands that have cultivated progressive and inclusive images are found to be associated with campaigns or causes that stand for the opposite.
Stephen Ross is a billionaire real estate developer (reported net worth: $7.7 billion) and owner of a private investment firm that has backed many of the latter kind of brands. He’s also hosting a fundraiser for the Trump 2020 campaign at his Hamptons mansion on Friday, August 9, where tickets will range from $100,000 for a lunch and photo opp to $250,000 to attend a roundtable discussion, according to the Washington Post.
Rich people hosting fundraisers for Trump is not itself particularly notable, but the fact that Ross’s firm has financed companies beloved in part for their progressive images has caused many patrons to call for a boycott. Among the brands Ross has invested in are Equinox, which has supported LGBTQ charities in the past; the spinning behemoth SoulCycle; the organic tampon brand Lola; and the budget gym Blink Fitness, as well as food chains like Momofuku and its pastry offshoot Milk Bar, and the fast-casual pizza spot &pizza.
OMG!  What to do?
New York Magazine to the rescue with additional information on those boycott targets for the morally outraged, tight-bodied, and narrow-minded.  And it is extensive.
When the news broke that Stephen Ross, a real-estate executive and venture capitalist, was set to throw an extravagant fundraiser for Donald Trump in the Hamptons on Friday, reverberations of shock and horror were felt in millennial communities far and wide, from Brooklyn to downtown L.A. to Austin and Portland, Oregon.  Why?  Because Ross is the chairman of the Related Companies, a parent company of both Equinox and SoulCycle, where many a young urban professional flocks daily to sweat out their existential dread. ...
Unfortunately it gets even worse.  Ross has a hand in so many millennial lifestyle entities that there are probably a few influencers whose entire feeds must be cleansed of products tied to Trump cash.  If you think you’re untouched, don’t be so sure[.] ... The giant, tangled rat king of capitalism means that unless you live like my friend John, who still has a flip phone and claims to have never ordered anything online, you’re part of a teeming network of unsavory dealings.
But anyway, here is a list of all the pertinent things Ross partly owns as you decide how much of your life must be canceled[.]
Read the list to learn how those with unfit morals will suffer.  Then, exercising your rights, smile and then go for a nice walk.

Top Military Officers Unload on Trump
The commander in chief is impulsive, disdains expertise, and gets his intelligence briefings from Fox News. What does this mean for those on the front lines?
Illustration: Paul Spella; Michael Heiman / Getty

·       NOVEMBER 2019 ISSUE
For most of the past two decades, American troops have been deployed all over the world—to about 150 countries. During that time, hundreds of thousands of young men and women have experienced combat, and a generation of officers have come of age dealing with the practical realities of war. They possess a deep well of knowledge and experience. For the past three years, these highly trained professionals have been commanded by Donald Trump.
To get a sense of what serving Trump has been like, I interviewed officers up and down the ranks, as well as several present and former civilian Pentagon employees. Among the officers I spoke with were four of the highest ranks—three or four stars—all recently retired. All but one served Trump directly; the other left the service shortly before Trump was inaugurated. They come from different branches of the military, but I’ll simply refer to them as “the generals.” Some spoke only off the record, some allowed what they said to be quoted without attribution, and some talked on the record.
Military officers are sworn to serve whomever voters send to the White House. Cognizant of the special authority they hold, high-level officers epitomize respect for the chain of command, and are extremely reticent about criticizing their civilian overseers. That those I spoke with made an exception in Trump’s case is telling, and much of what they told me is deeply disturbing. In 20 years of writing about the military, I have never heard officers in high positions express such alarm about a president. Trump’s pronouncements and orders have already risked catastrophic and unnecessary wars in the Middle East and Asia, and have created severe problems for field commanders engaged in combat operations. Frequently caught unawares by Trump’s statements, senior military officers have scrambled, in their aftermath, to steer the country away from tragedy. How many times can they successfully do that before faltering?
Amid threats spanning the globe, from nuclear proliferation to mined tankers in the Persian Gulf to terrorist attacks and cyberwarfare, those in command positions monitor the president’s Twitter feed like field officers scanning the horizon for enemy troop movements. A new front line in national defense has become the White House Situation Room, where the military struggles to accommodate a commander in chief who is both ignorant and capricious. In May, after months of threatening Iran, Trump ordered the carrier group led by the USS Abraham Lincoln to shift from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. On June 20, after an American drone was downed there, he ordered a retaliatory attack—and then called it off minutes before it was to be launched. The next day he said he was “not looking for war” and wanted to talk with Iran’s leaders, while also promising them “obliteration like you’ve never seen before” if they crossed him. He threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” and dispatched a three-aircraft-carrier flotilla to waters off the Korean peninsula—then he pivoted to friendly summits with Kim Jong Un, with whom he announced he was “in love”; canceled long-standing U.S. military exercises with South Korea; and dangled the possibility of withdrawing American forces from the country altogether. While the lovefest continues for the cameras, the U.S. has quietly uncanceled the canceled military exercises, and dropped any mention of a troop withdrawal.
Such rudderless captaincy creates the headlines Trump craves. He revels when his tweets take off. (“Boom!” he says. “Like a rocket!”) Out in the field, where combat is more than wordplay, his tweets have consequences. He is not a president who thinks through consequences—and this, the generals stressed, is not the way serious nations behave.
The generals I spoke with didn’t agree on everything, but they shared the following five characterizations of Trump’s military leadership.

I. HE DISDAINS EXPERTISE

Trump has little interest in the details of policy. He makes up his mind about a thing, and those who disagree with him—even those with manifestly more knowledge and experience—are stupid, or slow, or crazy.
As a personal quality, this can be trying; in a president, it is dangerous. Trump rejects the careful process of decision making that has long guided commanders in chief. Disdain for process might be the defining trait of his leadership. Of course, no process can guarantee good decisions—history makes that clear—but eschewing the tools available to a president is choosing ignorance. What Trump’s supporters call “the deep state” is, in the world of national security—hardly a bastion of progressive politics—a vast reservoir of knowledge and global experience that presidents ignore at their peril. The generals spoke nostalgically of the process followed by previous presidents, who solicited advice from field commanders, foreign-service and intelligence officers, and in some cases key allies before reaching decisions about military action. As different as George W. Bush and Barack Obama were in temperament and policy preferences, one general told me, they were remarkably alike in the Situation Room: Both presidents asked hard questions, wanted prevailing views challenged, insisted on a variety of options to consider, and weighed potential outcomes against broader goals. Trump doesn’t do any of that. Despite commanding the most sophisticated intelligence-gathering apparatus in the world, this president prefers to be briefed by Fox News, and then arrives at decisions without input from others.
One prominent example came on December 19, 2018, when Trump announced, via Twitter, that he was ordering all American forces in Syria home.
“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump presidency,” he tweeted. Later that day he said, “Our boys, our young women, our men, they are all coming back, and they are coming back now.”
This satisfied one of Trump’s campaign promises, and it appealed to the isolationist convictions of his core supporters. Forget the experts, forget the chain of command—they were the people who, after all, had kept American forces engaged in that part of the world for 15 bloody years without noticeably improving things. Enough was enough.
At that moment, however, American troops were in the final stages of crushing the Islamic State, which, contrary to Trump’s assertion, was collapsing but had not yet been defeated. Its brutal caliphate, which had briefly stretched from eastern Iraq to western Syria, had been painstakingly dismantled over the previous five years by an American-led global coalition, which was close to finishing the job. Now they were to stop and come home?
Here, several of the generals felt, was a textbook example of ill-informed decision making. The downsides of a withdrawal were obvious: It would create a power vacuum that would effectively cede the fractured Syrian state to Russia and Iran; it would abandon America’s local allies to an uncertain fate; and it would encourage a diminished ISIS to keep fighting. The decision—which prompted the immediate resignations of the secretary of defense, General James Mattis, and the U.S. special envoy to the mission, Brett McGurk—blindsided not only Congress and America’s allies but the person charged with actually waging the war, General Joseph Votel, the commander of U.S. Central Command. He had not been consulted.
Trump’s tweet put General Votel in the position of telling our allies, in effect, We’re screwing you, but we need you now more than ever.
Trump’s tweet put Votel in a difficult spot. Here was a sudden 180-degree turn in U.S. policy that severely undercut an ongoing effort. The American contingent of about 2,000 soldiers, most of them Special Forces, was coordinating with the Iraqi army; the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, consisting primarily of Kurdish militias and Syrians opposed to President Bashar al-Assad; and representatives of NATO, the Arab League, and dozens of countries. This alliance had reduced ISIS’s territory to small pockets of resistance inside Syria. America’s troops were deep in the Euphrates Valley, a long way from their original bases of operation. An estimated 10,000 hard-core Islamist soldiers were fighting to the death. Months of tough combat lay ahead.
Votel’s force in Syria was relatively small, but it required a steady supply of food, ammunition, parts, and medical supplies, and regular troop rotations. The avenue for these vital conveyances—through hundreds of miles of hazardous Iraqi desert—was truck convoys, protected almost exclusively by the SDF. To protect its troops during a retreat, America could have brought in its own troops or replaced those truck convoys with airlifts, but either step would have meant suddenly escalating an engagement that the president had just pronounced finished.
For the American commander, this was a terrible logistical challenge. An orderly withdrawal of his forces would further stress supply lines, therefore necessitating the SDF’s help even more. Votel found himself in the position of having to tell his allies, in effect, We’re screwing you, but we need you now more than ever.
Field commanders are often given orders they don’t like. The military must bow to civilian rule. The generals accept and embrace that. But they also say that no careful decision-making process would have produced Trump’s abrupt about-face.
Votel decided to take an exceedingly rare step: He publicly contradicted his commander in chief. In an interview with CNN he said that no, ISIS was not yet defeated, and now was not the time to retreat. Given his responsibility to his troops and the mission, the general didn’t have much choice.
Votel held everything together. He took advantage of the good relationship he had built with the SDF to buy enough time for Trump to be confronted with the consequences of his decision. A few days later, the president backed down—while predictably refusing to admit that he had done so. American forces would stay in smaller numbers (and France and the U.K. would eventually agree to commit more troops to the effort). The 180-degree turn was converted into something more like a 90-degree one. In the end, the main effects of Trump’s tweet were bruising the trust of allies and heartening both Assad and ISIS.
Illustration: Paul Spella; Nicholas Kamm; Olivier Douliery / AFP / Getty; Erik S. Lesser / AP; Kevin LaMarque / Reuters

II. HE TRUSTS ONLY HIS OWN INSTINCTS

Trump believes that his gut feelings about things are excellent, if not genius. Those around him encourage that belief, or they are fired. Winning the White House against all odds may have made it unshakable.
Decisiveness is good, the generals agreed. But making decisions without considering facts is not.
Trump has, on at least one occasion, shown the swiftness and resolution commanders respect: On April 7, 2017, he responded to a chemical-warfare attack by Assad with a missile strike on Syria’s Shayrat Airbase. But this was not a hard call. It was a onetime proportional retaliation unlikely to stir international controversy or wider repercussions. Few international incidents can be cleanly resolved by an air strike.
“How did we even get to that point?” one general asked me in astonishment. What kind of commander in chief would risk war with Iran over a drone?
A case in point is the flare-up with Iran in June. The generals said Trump’s handling of it was perilous, because it could have led to a shooting war. On June 20, Iran’s air defenses shot down an American RQ-4A Global Hawk, a high-altitude surveillance drone the Iranians said had violated their airspace. The U.S. said the drone was in international airspace. (The disputed coordinates were about 12 miles apart—not a big difference for an aircraft moving hundreds of miles an hour.) In retaliation, Trump ordered a military strike on Iran—and then abruptly called it off after, he claimed, he’d been informed that it would kill about 150 Iranians. One general told me this explanation is highly improbable—any careful discussion of the strike would have considered potential casualties at the outset. But whatever his reasoning, the president’s reversal occasioned such relief that it obscured the gravity of his original decision.
“How did we even get to that point?” the general asked me in astonishment. Given what a tinderbox that part of the world is, what kind of commander in chief would risk war with Iran over a drone?
Not only would a retaliatory strike have failed the litmus test of proportionality, this general said, but it would have accomplished little, escalated the dispute with Iran, and risked instigating a broad conflict. In an all-out war, the U.S. would defeat Iran’s armed forces, but not without enormous bloodshed, and not just in Iran. Iran and its proxies would launch terrorist strikes on American and allied targets throughout the Middle East and beyond. If the regime were to fall, what would come next? Who would step in to govern a Shiite Muslim nation of 82 million steeped for generations in hatred of America? The mullahs owe their power to the American overthrow of Iran’s elected government in 1953, an event widely regarded in Iran (and elsewhere) as an outrage. Conquering Americans would not be greeted by happy Persian crowds. The generals observed that those who predicted such parades in Baghdad following the ouster of Saddam Hussein instead got a decade-long bloodbath. Iran has more than twice Iraq’s population, and is a far more developed nation. The Iraq War inspired the creation of ISIS and gave renewed momentum to al‑Qaeda; imagine how war with Iran might mobilize Hezbollah, the richest and best-trained terrorist organization in the world.
Sometimes, of course, war is necessary. That’s why we maintain the most expensive and professional military in the world. But a fundamental reason to own such power is to avoid wars—especially wars that are likely to create worse problems than they solve.
General Votel, who commanded American forces in the region until he retired in March, told me that if the U.S. had carried out a retaliatory strike, “the trick for the military in this case would be to orchestrate some type of operation that would very quickly try and get us to an off-ramp—give them an off-ramp or provide us with an off-ramp—so we can get to some kind of discussion to resolve the situation.” Trump’s attack might have targeted some of the Iranian navy’s vessels and systems that threaten shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, Votel said, or it might have leveled a measured strike against the air defenses that struck the drone. Ideally it would have been followed by a pause, so diplomatic processes could kick in. The strike would have demonstrated to Iran that we have the capability and willingness to strike back if provoked, and made clear that in a serious fight, it could not prevail. But all of this presumes a sequence that would unfold in an orderly, rational way—a preposterous notion.
“This is all completely unpredictable,” Votel said. “It’s hard for me to see how it would play out. We would be compelled to leave large numbers of forces in the region as a deterrent. If you don’t have an off-ramp, you’re going to find yourself in some kind of protracted conflict.” Which is precisely the kind of scenario Trump has derided in the past. His eagerness to free the U.S. from long-term military conflicts overseas was why he made his abrupt announcement about pulling out of Syria. Evidently he didn’t fully consider where a military strike against Iran was likely to lead.
The real reason Trump reversed himself on the retaliatory strike, one general said, was not because he suddenly learned of potential casualties, but because someone, most likely General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, aggressively confronted him with the extended implications of an attack.
“I know the chairman very well,” the general said. “He’s about as fine an officer as I have ever spent time around. I think if he felt the president was really heading in the wrong direction, he would let the president know.” He added that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may have counseled against an attack as well. “Pompeo’s a really bright guy. I’m sure he would intervene and give the president his best advice.”

III. HE RESISTS COHERENT STRATEGY

If there is any broad logic to Trump’s behavior, it’s Keep ’em confused. He believes that unpredictability itself is a virtue.
Keeping an enemy off-balance can be a good thing, the generals agreed, so long as you are not off-balance yourself. And it’s a tactic, not a strategy. Consider Trump’s rhetorical dance with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. No president in modern times has made progress with North Korea. Capable of destroying Seoul within minutes of an outbreak of hostilities, Pyongyang has ignored every effort by the U.S. and its allies to deter it from building a nuclear arsenal.
Trump has gone back and forth dramatically on Kim. As a candidate in 2016, he said he would get China to make the North Korean dictator “disappear in one form or another very quickly.” Once in office, he taunted Kim, calling him “Little Rocket Man,” and suggested that the U.S. might immolate Pyongyang. Then he switched directions and orchestrated three personal meetings with Kim.
“That stuff is just crazy enough to work,” one of the generals told me with a what-the-hell? chuckle. “We’ll see what happens. If they can get back to some kind of discussion, if it can avert something, it will have been worth it. The unconventional aspect of that does have the opportunity to shake some things up.”
In the long run, however, unpredictability is a problem. Without a coherent underlying strategy, uncertainty creates confusion and increases the chance of miscalculation—and miscalculation, the generals pointed out, is what starts most wars. John F. Kennedy famously installed a direct hotline to the Kremlin in order to lower the odds of blundering into a nuclear exchange. Invading Kuwait, Saddam Hussein stumbled into a humiliating defeat in the first Gulf War—a conflict that killed more than 100,000 people—after a cascading series of miscommunications and miscalculations led to a crushing international response.
Unpredictability becomes an impediment to success when it interferes with orderly process. “Say you’re going to have an engagement with North Korea,” a general who served under multiple presidents told me. “At some point you should have developed a strategy that says, Here’s what we want the outcome to be. And then somebody is developing talking points. Those talking points are shared with the military, with the State Department, with the ambassador. Whatever the issue might be, before the president ever says anything, everybody should know what the talking points are going to be.” To avoid confusion and a sense of aimlessness, “everybody should have at least a general understanding of what the strategy is and what direction we’re heading in.”
Which is frequently not the case now.
“If the president says ‘Fire and brimstone’ and then two weeks later says ‘This is my best friend,’ that’s not necessarily bad—but it’s bad if the rest of the relevant people in the government responsible for executing the strategy aren’t aware that that’s the strategy,” the general said. Having a process to figure out the sequences of steps is essential. “The process tells the president what he should say. When I was working with Obama and Bush,” he continued, “before we took action, we would understand what that action was going to be, we’d have done a Q&A on how we think the international community is going to respond to that action, and we would have discussed how we’d deal with that response.”
To operate outside of an organized process, as Trump tends to, is to reel from crisis to rapprochement to crisis, generating little more than noise. This haphazard approach could lead somewhere good—but it could just as easily start a very big fire.
If the president eschews the process, this general told me, then when a challenging national-security issue arises, he won’t have information at hand about what the cascading effects of pursuing different options might be. “He’s kind of shooting blind.” Military commanders find that disconcerting.
“The process is not a panacea—Bush and Obama sometimes made bad decisions even with all the options in front of them—but it does help.”
Illustration: Paul Spella; Eric Thayer / Reuters

IV. “HE IS REFLEXIVELY CONTRARY”

General H. R. McMaster, who left the White House on reasonably good terms in April 2018 after only 14 months as national security adviser, is about as can-do a professional as you will find. He appeared to take Trump seriously, and tailored his briefings to accommodate the president’s famous impatience, in order to equip him for the weighty decisions the office demands. But Trump resents advice and instruction. He likes to be agreed with. Efforts to broaden his understanding irritate him. McMaster’s tenure was bound to be short. Weeks before accepting his resignation, the president let it be known that he found McMaster’s briefings tedious and the man himself “gruff and condescending.”
Distrusting expertise, Trump has contradicted and disparaged the intelligence community and presided over a dismantling of the State Department. This has meant leaving open ambassadorships around the world, including in countries vital to American interests such as Brazil, Canada, Honduras, Japan, Jordan, Pakistan, Russia, and Ukraine. High-level foreign officers, seeing no opportunities for advancement, have been leaving.
“When you lose these diplomats and ambassadors that have all this experience, this language capability, this cultural understanding, that makes things very, very difficult for us,” one of the generals said. “And it leads to poor decisions down the line.”
Trump so resists being led that his instinct is nearly always to upend prevailing opinion.
“He is reflexively contrary,” another of the generals told me.
According to those who worked with him, McMaster avoided giving the president a single consensus option, even when one existed. He has said that he always tried to give the president room to choose. After leaving the White House, he criticized others in the national-security community for taking a different approach, accusing them of withholding information in hopes of steering Trump in the direction they preferred. McMaster has not named names, but he was most likely talking about Mattis and General John Kelly, who, after serving as Trump’s homeland-security secretary, became the president’s second chief of staff. McMaster has said that he considered such an approach tantamount to subverting the Constitution—but if his allegation is true, it shows how poorly equipped those people felt Trump was for the job. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report records numerous instances of civilian advisers trying to manage the president, or simply ignoring presidential directives they deemed ill-advised or illegal.
During his brief tenure on Trump’s staff, McMaster oversaw the production of a broad national-security strategy that sought to codify Trump’s “America first” worldview, placing immigration at the head of national-security concerns, right alongside nuclear proliferation and terrorist attacks. The idea was to build a coherent structure around the president’s scattershot diplomacy. Trump rhapsodized about the document at its unveiling, according to someone who was there, saying, “I love it! I love it! I want to use this all the time.”
He hasn’t. Like its author, the document has been dismissed. Those who were involved in writing it remain convinced, somewhat hopefully, that it is still helping guide policy, but John Bolton, McMaster’s successor, said scornfully—a few months before he, too, was ousted by Trump—that it is filed away somewhere, consulted by no one.
Trump is no more likely to have read the thing than he is to have written his own books. (Years ago, after he published The Art of the Deal, he asked me if I was interested in writing his next book. I declined.) Trying to shape this president’s approach to the world into a cogent philosophy is a fool’s errand. For those commanding America’s armed forces, it’s best to keep binoculars trained on his Twitter feed.

V. HE HAS A SIMPLISTIC AND ANTIQUATED NOTION OF SOLDIERING

Though he disdains expert advice, Trump reveres—perhaps fetishizes—the military. He began his presidency by stacking his administration with generals: Mattis, McMaster, Kelly, and, briefly, Michael Flynn, his first national security adviser. Appointing them so soon after their retirement from the military was a mistake, according to Don Bolduc, a retired brigadier general who is currently running as a Republican for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire. Early on, the biggest difference Bolduc saw between the Trump administration and its predecessors, and one he felt was “going to be disruptive in the long term,” was “the significant reliance, in the Pentagon at least, on senior military leadership overriding and making less relevant our civilian oversight. That was going to be a huge problem. The secretary of defense pretty much surrounded himself with his former Marine comrades, and there was, at least from that group, a distrust of civilians that really negatively affected the Pentagon in terms of policy and strategy in Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq, by following the same old failed operational approaches.” Trump’s reliance on military solutions is problematic because “there are limits to what the military can solve. I think initially the Trump administration held this idea that general officers somehow have all the answers to everything. I think the president discovered in short order that that’s really not the case.”
Bolduc also pointed out an unusual leadership challenge caused by having a general of McMaster’s rank serve as national security adviser—he did not retire when he assumed the post. “McMaster, for whom I have tremendous respect, came in as a three-star general. Leaving him a three-star forces him on a daily basis to have to engage with four-star generals who see his rank as beneath theirs, even though his position is much more than that.”
The problems posed by Trump’s skewed understanding of the military extend beyond bad decision making to the very culture of our armed forces: He apparently doesn’t think American soldiers accused of war crimes should be prosecuted and punished. In early May, he pardoned former Army Lieutenant Michael Behenna, who had been convicted of murdering an Iraqi prisoner. Two weeks later, he asked the Justice Department to prepare pardon materials for a number of American servicemen and contractors who were charged with murder and desecration of corpses, including Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL who stood accused by his own team members of fatally stabbing a teenage ISIS prisoner and shooting unarmed civilians. (He was ultimately acquitted of the murders but convicted of posing for photos with the boy’s body.) Trump subsequently chastised the military attorneys who had prosecuted Gallagher, and directed that medals awarded to them be rescinded. All of the generals agreed that interfering with the military’s efforts to police itself badly undermines command and control. When thousands of young Americans are deployed overseas with heavy weaponry, crimes and atrocities will sometimes occur. Failing to prosecute those who commit them invites behavior that shames everyone in uniform and the nation they serve.
“He doesn’t understand the warrior ethos,” one general said of the president. “The warrior ethos is important because it’s sort of a sacred covenant not just among members of the military profession, but between the profession and the society in whose name we fight and serve. The warrior ethos transcends the laws of war; it governs your behavior. The warrior ethos makes units effective because of the values of trust and self-sacrifice associated with it—but the warrior ethos also makes wars less inhumane and allows our profession to maintain our self-respect and to be respected by others. Man, if the warrior ethos gets misconstrued into ‘Kill them all …’ he said, trailing off. Teaching soldiers about ethical conduct in war is not just about morality: If you treat civilians disrespectfully, you’re working for the enemy! Trump doesn’t understand.”
Having never served or been near a battlefield, several of the generals said, Trump exhibits a simplistic, badly outdated notion of soldiers as supremely “tough”—hard men asked to perform hard and sometimes ugly jobs. He also buys into a severely outdated concept of leadership. The generals, all of whom have led troops in combat, know better than most that war is hard and ugly, but their understanding of “toughness” goes well beyond the gruff stoicism of a John Wayne movie. Good judgment counts more than toughness.
Bolduc said he came up in a military where it was accepted practice for senior leaders to blame their subordinates, lose their temper, pound on desks, and threaten to throw things, and the response to that behavior was “He’s a hard-ass. Right? He’s tough. That is not leadership. You don’t get optimal performance being that way. You get optimal performance by being completely opposite of that.”
Bolduc worries that, under Trump’s command, a return to these antiquated notions of “toughness” will worsen the epidemic of PTSD plaguing soldiers who have served repeated combat tours. Senior military officers have learned much from decades of war—lessons Bolduc said are being discarded by a president whose closest brush with combat has been a movie screen.
The military is hard to change. This is bad, because it can be maddeningly slow to adapt, but also good, because it can withstand poor leadership at the top. In the most crucial areas, the generals said, the military’s experienced leaders have steered Trump away from disaster. So far.
“The hard part,” one general said, “is that he may be president for another five years.”


Opinion: Trump’s emoluments transgressions don’t stop with the Doral fiasco

By NORMAN J. ORNSTEIN

When the White House announced that Donald Trump would host the 2020 Group of Seven meeting at his Doral golf resort in Florida — an in-your-face bit of self-dealing and a blatant violation of the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause — Republicans and Democrats howled. Reporters had only just begun to tally the ways awarding himself a government contract could enrich Trump and the Trump Organization when the president backed down, but not before he publicly decried the “phony” emoluments clause.
The Doral reversal dimmed the spotlight on emoluments, but that should not lead us to drop the focus on the rest of Trump’s self-dealing and conflicts of interest. For strategic reasons, the House of Representatives may not include emoluments transgressions among potential impeachment charges. Nonetheless, the number of Trump’s violations are staggering, and growing by the day.
There are two separate emoluments sections in the Constitution; neither are phony, and both reflect the deep concern the Framers had about possible corruption in the highest offices in the land.
“Emoluments” are anything of value. The first constitutional clause, forbidding any officer of the United States from taking “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever” from a foreign government, is in Article I. It has no loopholes; the Framers feared that a rich foreign government could influence or sway American policy by giving something of value to a policy-maker. It is not limited to the president or vice president, but to all holding an office of trust in the U.S. government.
The second emoluments clause is in Article II and is limited to the president. It reads, “The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.” Here, the fear was that Congress could shake down the president by withholding his salary or bribe him by increasing it, and that a president could use the leverage of his office with states or the federal government to enrich himself.
We have never had occasion in our history to be deeply concerned about violations of these constitutional clauses. Most previous presidents have scrupulously adhered to them in spirit and letter. Jimmy Carter, to pick one example, put his peanut farm in a blind trust to avoid any appearance of conflict or attempt to profit via his office.
Trump, whose chief of staff on Sunday said the president still thought of himself as an innkeeper, has kept ownership of all his properties and has lied about not participating in their operations. He pushed officials at the General Services Administration to allow him to keep his federal lease for his Washington hotel while pressuring the District of Columbia to lower his property taxes. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, holding an office in his administration, has taken valuable trademarks, including, staggeringly, one on voting machines, from China. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, holding an office of trust in the administration, has promoted Trump and Kushner properties and solicited loans from foreign governments.
In other words, the president is unique in his corruption in American history. The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has regularly compiled a tally of Trump’s conflicts of interest and violations of the emoluments clauses. The latest numbers are stark: 1,493 trips to Trump properties by government officials, usually spending taxpayer money that will enrich the president; 292 promotions of Trump properties by White House officials; 63 foreign trademarks awarded to Trump brands, mostly from China and Brazil, while he has been president.
The president himself had made 387 trips to his properties, 240 of them to play golf. He regularly does semi-official infomercials for his properties, and he’s told couples considering staging a wedding reception at Mar-a-Lago in Florida or the Trump country club in Bedminster, N.H., that, if they do, he might be available for a photo op. He famously doubled the initiation fee at Mar-a-Lago, to $200,000, when he became president, enabling foreign figures (and others) to gain entrĂ©e to the president for a price his businesses collect.
The message has been received: Foreign governments, including Romania, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, moved events from other venues to Trump properties, and foreign countries or other foreign-connected entities have held 13 events at his properties, surely enriching him along the way. (He claims profits from foreigners are repaid to the Treasury; without his tax records, this can’t be checked). One hundred and twenty-one foreign officials from 71 foreign governments have visited his properties; lobbyists of all stripes have scheduled events there. Trump has openly talked about his ventures in places like Saudi Arabia and Turkey even as he has bent American foreign policy in ways that benefit those countries’ autocrats.
The president likes to pretend that there is no such thing as a conflict of interest, that his actions are ”perfect” and “innocent.” But we should not let his lies obscure what are ongoing, direct and outrageous abuses of the Constitution for financial gain by the president and his cronies. The House impeachment hearings are concentrating on other abuses of power, but there is no doubt our Framers would see the emoluments violations as a long series of impeachable and unconscionable offenses.
Norman J. Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. His latest book, with Thomas E. Mann and E.J. Dionne Jr., is “One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate and the Not-Yet-Deported.”


“He likes porn stars, as we’ve seen throughout his life. And he has these habits. He’ll push somebody against the wall and try and kiss them. He’ll grab a breast or a buttock. When he’s in a property that he owns, whether it be a hotel or Mar-a-Lago, he feels that he has the right to walk in on a woman in her room.”
                                                                                                          

Donald Trump And The Making Of A Predatory President

 

In “All The President’s Women,” journalists Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizy uncover 43 new sexual assault allegations against the world’s most powerful man.

In “All The President’s Women,” journalists Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizy uncover 43 new sexual assault allegations against the world’s most powerful man.
In the New York Military Academy’s 1964 yearbook, there is a striking photo of a young man with a young woman by his side. He stares smugly into the camera under the caption “Ladies Man.”
This young man would go on to become president of the United States.
 “The young lady in the picture, however, was not graduating senior Donald Trump’s girlfriend. Nor was she a visiting friend,” write journalists Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizy in their new book, “All The President’s Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator.”
“The woman in the picture is 19-year-old Fran D’Agati Dunn, a secretary who worked at the school at the time and was asked to step in for the photo. Nothing more than a prop.” 
It is this sort of narration, combined with a stunning 43 new allegations of Trump’s sexual misconduct, that makes “All The President’s Women” such an impactful read. Levine and El-Faizy painstakingly document Trump’s decadeslong history of treating women as objects and accessories, from making derogatory comments to walking into the dressing rooms of underage beauty queens to alleged rape.
In early 2018, when adult film star Stormy Daniels was dominating the news cycle, Levine took notice. Between Daniels’ claim that Trump had paid her hush money and the accounts of 20 other women who came forward against Trump during the 2016 election, Levine knew there had to be more there.
Once he started digging, he realized he wanted to collaborate with another seasoned journalist, specifically a woman, on the project. After a couple of initial conversations, he decided he wanted to work with El-Faizy to tell a story that went beyond individual allegations of inappropriate behavior.
“I think we wanted to look at not just what he had done, but why and what it meant,” said El-Faizy. “How he came to be formed as the predator he became.”
HuffPost spoke with Levine and El-Faizy about the more than 100 interviews they conducted over the year they were writing the book, the patterns that emerged, and what the predatory behavior of the “most visible man on earth” says about our culture at large.
You reported 43 new allegations of misconduct against the president in this book. How did you all just go about locating the women that you spoke to? And also what made these women want to share their stories publicly?
Levine: It was extremely difficult. It was a very intensive period to cover, and that’s why I focused on the reporting while Monique was able to shape the narrative. But in terms of the women, I was fortunate ― in addition to finding Monique ― there were two other journalists that I was able to put together on my small team. One was Whitney Clegg, an investigative producer who re-interviewed some of the victims who came forward in 2016. And then I also was able to collaborate with Lucy Osborne, a producer for the BBC in London, who had done a documentary on Donald Trump and women. She had some leads on some women, particularly young models, that she had wanted to chase down. So she went off in one direction, Whitney went off in another direction, Monique was taking all the interviews as we were filing them and, under a tremendous deadline, turned the book into what I would consider a great read.
But I’ll just tell you one story, about Karen Johnson. She’s the woman who made the allegations about the night at Mar-a-Lago during a New Year’s Eve party, [during the time] when Melania Trump was dating Donald Trump. [Johnson says that] when Melania was upstairs, she was attacked [by Trump]. She said he had actually done to her [what he described doing in] the “Access Hollywood” tapes, in terms of grabbing her. She was someone who held onto this story for many, many years, and was fearful originally to come out with this story because she had been a dancer in her earlier life. And she thought, if I come out and say this, they’re going to attack me, they’re going to call me a liar because I had once been a dancer. And so she kept this secret.
It took me two full months before she even felt comfortable to begin telling me the details. So, it’s been a very emotional journey in terms of getting these brave and courageous women to come forward. And I just have to say, I’m just so thankful that I was able to work with Monique and Lucy and Whitney to pull all this together.
What patterns emerged for you as you were going through all of the reporting?
El-Faizy: To me, that was the unexpected power of the book. We’ve all heard the stories, the women would come forward one by one. But when you put it all in one space, first of all, it’s enormous, and that’s shocking in and of itself, but these patterns really do emerge. [Trump] clearly has a thing for younger women. He started talking about Ivanka being sexy when she was around the same age as these models that he was kind of staring at backstage and pursuing at parties. So that’s one of the patterns.
He likes porn stars, as we’ve seen throughout his life. And he has these habits. He’ll push somebody against the wall and try and kiss them. He’ll grab a breast or a buttock. When he’s in a property that he owns, whether it be a hotel or Mar-a-Lago, he feels that he has the right to walk in on a woman in her room.
What’s interesting is that there were very few one-offs. We only put things in [the book] that fit the pattern, because he has such well-established patterns over the years. What was powerful about that is, when we would interview the women, almost all of them in some way blamed themselves: “What kind of vibe was I putting off? What was I wearing?” And when you look at them in the context of these patterns, you realize it has almost nothing to do with that woman. If it wasn’t that woman, it would’ve been another woman wearing something else and putting off a totally different vibe.
He’ll push somebody against the wall and try and kiss them. He’ll grab a breast or a buttock. When he’s in a property that he owns, whether it be a hotel or Mar-a-Lago, he feels that he has the right to walk in on a woman in her room.El-Faizy
I think that really comes across in the book, especially when you get to the end and you’re reading the appendix, which outlines every single allegation. There are stories that you’ll get to one and say, oh, that sounds exactly like that other woman’s story, down to the details. It’s very striking.
Levine: About six months into the reporting, we were getting all these new stories, in addition to cataloging the earlier allegations that were made in 2016. And at the same time, I was also digging into research and finding stories about [Trump’s] inappropriate behavior with women that had popped up in the media but had never really been cataloged ― everything from making horrible comments to a model that was seated at a table with Graydon Carter, to incidents where he himself said that he attacked women, [like] pouring a glass of wine on a reporter in New York.
To me, [these incidents] all needed to be cataloged. I think it’s very powerful, after you go through the beautifully shaped narrative that Monique wrote, that you then get, in very black and white fashion, every single allegation of inappropriate behavior, in addition to the disparaging comments that I found he made involving so many women. I just think when you read them one after another, it is extremely impactful. And so the appendix of this book, to me, is as important as the narrative itself.
As you both alluded to earlier, you take a deep look into Trump’s early years, which is probably something that most readers will know less about. To me, it seemed like his treatment of women as objects and accessories began very early. Would you say that that’s accurate?
El-Faizy: Absolutely. That’s why I chartered the book the way I did. In his graduation photo from the military academy, the woman standing next to him is an accessory. To me, that said it all.
And I think that that comes from his father, too. His father would bring these young, pretty girls up to the academy. From what his classmates say, these were not women that Donald Trump knew or had any kind of relationship with. They were just girls that his dad would bring up for him, presumably for the image of it. So I think that he didn’t develop that attitude in a vacuum.
And how do you think those early experiences with women then impacted his relationship with women later on in his life?
El-Faizy: What’s interesting is that he never changes. We interviewed one of his classmates, Sandy McIntosh, who said, “We were in an all-male academy. We learned about women and girls from Playboy magazine. But then we got out and realized, oh no, that’s not an appropriate way to look at women.”
And Trump just never made that change. To me, what’s interesting is that nothing later in his life impacted him enough to force him to reconsider his attitude.
The book also gets into Trump’s obsession with models, with Playboy, and with beauty pageants. You include a quote from a former Miss Arizona who says that she believes Trump purchased the Miss Universe organization explicitly “to utilize his power to get around beautiful women.” What did you take away from that?
El-Faizy: Trump is, at his heart, a business guy. And if that’s your mind state, you buy whatever you want in life. He had the money to do it; he wanted these women, so he just went out and bought access to women, with the beauty pageant, with the modeling agency. And I think for a lot of these men, it’s as much about being around the women as it is how it looks to other men.
There’s a story in the book from a hairstylist who used to blow-dry Marla Maples’ hair. And he told me that Trump would come into the salon and just stand by her chair and look around and see who was watching him be with Marla. So it wasn’t that much about, “Oh, I want to see my girlfriend Marla.” It was about, “I want to be seen in the presence of this young, beautiful blonde.” It’s the equivalent of driving a red Ferrari.
Levine: I tend to take a much darker view of those years. It’s absolutely clear in the book that for Donald Trump, creating his own modeling agency and being a part of some of these other beauty pageants and contests that he would arrange parties for at the Plaza Hotel in the ’90s — that became his personal hunting ground.
Take the story, for instance, that Heather Braden told. Heather was a model, and she told a story where Trump and these actors were in this giant Miami Beach mansion with like 50 models. It really wasn’t a party. The whole thing was an exercise for Donald Trump and these three other men to see how many of these models they could take in the private rooms, sometimes two or three women at a time.
Heather was older at the time, and she was kind of watching everything take place. She turned down Trump, but she said these younger models didn’t know any better. And they would come out disheveled; they would look very uncomfortable when they came out of the private rooms, and there was no question in her mind that these were sexual experiences taking place. Donald Trump had created this private hunting ground to allow himself access to young models. And he formed a very tight relationship with John Casablancas, the founder of the Elite modeling agency.
For Donald Trump, creating his own modeling agency and being a part of some of these other beauty pageants and contests ... that became his personal hunting ground.Barry Levine
This book puts all of these allegations together and uncovers a lot of new information, but for years now, there has been a pretty well-documented history of Trump’s misogyny and sexual misconduct. And yet it largely has not been seen as a dealbreaker for his supporters. Why do you think that there are a lot of people who feel allegations of sexual misconduct can be dismissed or overlooked?
El-Faizy: Yeah, it’s interesting. I had written a book about evangelical Christianity years ago, so I went back to that community for this book because, of course, the evangelical community is probably what put Trump over the edge in 2016. That community is very much run by male leaders, and so it was the men who really drove that train for Trump.
One of the evangelical women I spoke to and I said, “What is it? Why are they supporting him?” She said, “I think that a lot of them think, ‘If I wasn’t a Christian, that’s what I would be doing.’” Trump is surrounded by porn stars and beautiful blondes and whatever. And so she thought there was a certain kind of male envy.
The structure of the evangelical church, where Trump gets the bulk of his support, is very patriarchal. For them, this kind of patriarchy is what God has instructed them to do, and they find all kinds of different ways of rationalizing it. Early on, I called an old source of mine. I said, “how on earth are you supporting him?” And they said, “God uses imperfect vessels.” So they rationalize it by saying, [Trump] is being used, he’s a tool of God. He doesn’t need to be perfect, we’re all sinners. But at the very core of their support is just a comfort with patriarchy and the idea that women are supposed to be submissive to men.
And then the more cynical answer is the community supports him because he does what they want him to do. He gets them conservative judges, he’s helping roll back abortion laws, things like that. But in terms of the women being able to support him, it’s because they live within a world in which they’ve completely accepted the idea of patriarchy.
I feel like another sentiment that I hear a lot, even among people who believe that Trump is predatory, is exhaustion and frustration that these allegations don’t seem to stick to him. So, why bother? What would you say to those people?
El-Faizy: I think that’s part of the reason why it was important to put all these [allegations] in one place, because it is easier to dismiss individual behaviors. But when you look at it all in the aggregate, you realize it’s not really just about one man’s behavior; it is about systems that allow this behavior to go on for decades and decades. Trump is one of many men who has been able to be predatory with women. I would argue, right now, he’s the one we should be looking at because he’s the most visible man in the world and he sets an example. But there needs to be a look at the systems that allow this to go on.
When we brush aside or when we say we’re tired of this, we’re being complicit, we’re letting it go on. We have to get outraged about every one of these things. I’m now sort of going off-topic a little bit, but when I read the Ta-Nehisi Coates book “Between the World and Me,” that was the thing that I came away with. We can’t just say, “Oh, there’s another black kid getting shot.” We have to be outraged every time or this never ever changes.
It’s not really just about one man’s behavior; it is about systems that allow this behavior to go on for decades and decades.El-Faizy
Levine: This is a man who wants another four years to be president of our country. You can’t say, ‘Who cares?’ You can’t turn away from the truth.
Given the sheer breadth of allegations that exist against President Trump, do you think that we should be speaking about him in the same way that we speak about predatory men like Bill Cosby or Harvey Weinstein?
El-Faizy: I think absolutely.
Levine: The reporting shows that Donald Trump has been a predator over the course of many decades. There needs to be a reckoning here of his behavior. And we had to attempt to connect the dots to show not only the actual instances of the allegations but also to talk about how he became a predator. And I hope that the readers will get answers to that.
Why is it so essential for the American public to grapple with Trump’s predatory behavior? What does this one man’s story say about our culture at large?
El-Faizy: I think it’s his behavior, but also his policies. His behavior reveals an attitude about women, and that attitude is being held by the man who formed policy for American women and also for women around the globe. And we see the manner in which those attitudes are affecting women around the world, and the systems that are supporting these kinds of things.
What was so hurtful about the confirmation [of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh] was that you had an accuser [Christine Blasey Ford] who came forward, she was credible, people listened to her. And yet there was very little investigation and he was confirmed anyway. So I think a lot of women felt like, we thought we made all these advances since the ’60s, but in fact, the patriarchy is alive and well and still completely in control of the system. And I think that’s important to examine.
So now the book is out there in the world and we have this information. What should we be doing with it? What do you hope comes next?
Levine: I really think it is so important now, despite everything else going on with the impeachment inquiry, that investigative news organizations take the time to pick up these allegations and dig deeper because there are still so many stories. There is so much more material out there on Donald Trump and women.
When I was wrapping up the book, the E. Jean Carroll allegations [that Trump had attempted to rape Carroll in the mid-’90s] surfaced. And first of all, after the reporting I had done, everything that she said rang true. But beyond that, there were news organizations who were wrestling with whether they were going to present her allegations to begin with. And to me, that is the absolutely wrong thing. We need to allow these women to tell their stories. To me, that’s the most important thing.
El-Faizy: I think that we’ve seen that women are not fully valued in society and we need massive change. And I think that the midterm elections with all these young, newly elected women, were the beginning of that. And I hope that that’s not just a one-off and that that continues, because until we reach parity in the power structures of organizations and in government, this is not going to be fully addressed and fully changed. We need to see more women getting elected and that this is not just a moment, but actually the beginning of some real change.
Levine: I hope that even if people hear these allegations and don’t even read the book, that it will make them aware that the story of Donald Trump and women, his predatory behavior, has not been fully written, and that this is something they should remember when they consider whether or not they want him to be president for another four years.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.



“Our entire crony capitalist system, Democrat 

and Republican alike, has become a kleptocracy 

approaching par with third-world hell-holes. 

 This is the way a great country is raided by its 

elite.” ---- Karen McQuillan  


Scarborough then launched into his own conspiracy theory:
But I think we all will be absolutely fascinated when we finally figure out what Vladimir Putin has on Donald Trump and why Donald Trump has surrendered the Middle East, helped ISIS, helped Iran, helped Russia, helped Turkey, helped all of our enemies and betrayed all of our allies. You know, a lot of people think that it’s – he has compromising pictures or something happened in a hotel in Russia years ago. No. It goes back to money. It’s always about money.



GET THIS BOOK!



BULLSHIT! TRUMP AND HIS PARASITE CHILDREN 

HAVE SCREWED EVERY CONTRACTOR AND PERSON 

THEY’VE DONE BUSINESS WITH FROM DAY ONE!



Eric Trump on paying contractors: We 

pay ‘people when they do great jobs’


The Trump Organization has been criticized for stiffing contractors. Contractors have filed hundreds of complaints, which date back to the 1980s, alleging that the real estate company did not pay them.
“We believe in paying people when they do great jobs. And we get people paid incredibly quickly. And we pay contractors,” said Eric Trump, executive vice president of The Trump Organization at Yahoo Finance’s All Market Summit, adding that the organization only refuses to pay contractors who fail to complete a job.
“Yeah, well, they [the unpaid contractors] didn't finish a job. And they didn't do a good job. And they flaked out. And they were two months behind schedule. And so you had to let go of them. And you had to bring somebody else in to do the job that they otherwise would have. And it's called the real world,” he said, referring to the allegations. “People like to take cheap shots at us.”

Eric Trump’s defense echoes his father’s status quo response.
During the 2016 presidential debate, President Donald Trump said something very similar. “Maybe he didn’t do a good job and I was unsatisfied with his work,” he said in response to nonpayment accusations.
Eric Trump also noted to Yahoo Finance that The Trump Organization has developed institutional knowledge about getting the best deals with contractors. “In New York, we know what contractors are going to be incredible, what contractors are going to — I won't use a word, but — take advantage of you,” he said. “And, you know, you have that institutional knowledge. You know your way around. You know the language. You know the laws. You know how things are built. You know what kind of foundations work in the ground.”

 ANN COULTER



TRUMP’S PARASITIC FAMILY
 Jared’s BFF, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Muhammad bin Zayed (MBZ), refer to Jared as “the clown prince.” Bone-cutter MBS assured those around him that he had Jared “in my pocket.” 

Following meetings at the White House and also with the Kushners over their 666 Fifth Avenue property, former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim reported back to the emir that “the people atop the new administration were heavily motivated by personal financial interest.” 

“Truthfully, It Is Tough To Ignore Some Of The Gross Immoral Behavior By The President” WASHINGTON POST

 

Trump's sister quits as a federal judge 10 days into formal probe of her possible role in massive family tax scam that could have ended in her impeachment


·          Trump's older sister resigned as an appellate court judge shortly after a probe opened into her involvement in a family tax scheme
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·         10 days ago an investigation into whether Maryanne Trump Barry violated judicial conduct rules launched
·         


·         The case was closed after Barry resigned because retired judges are not subject to the rules
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·         Barry had not heard a case in two years after transitioning to inactive shortly after Trump's inauguration 
·         


·         The Trump siblings were probed after an investigation found they were involved in a tax scheme related to the transfer of their father's real estate empire 





President Donald Trump’s older sister Maryanne Trump Barry, 82, retired as a federal judge just days after an investigation opened into her possible role in family tax fraud scheme.

Barry was a federal appellate judge in the third district, which includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and the investigation could have led to her impeachment.

She had not presided over a case in more than two years, but was still listed as an inactive senior judge in the third district – usually the step taken before full retirement.

Barry did not give any reasons for her retirement. 

The probe into the Trumps was first opened last fall, after a New York Times investigation found the Trump siblings engaged in tax schemes in the 1990s, including fraud, that increased their inherited wealth.
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Maryanne Trump Barry resigned as a federal appellate judge 10 days into an investigation into whether she violated judicial conduct rules

An investigation into the Trump siblings opened after the New York Times reported that they transferred their father's real estate assets improperly in the 1990s 
PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES DONALD TRUMP: Pathological liar, swindler, con man, huckster, golfing cheat, charity foundation fraudster, tax evader, adulterer, porn whore chaser and servant of the Saudis dictators
THE TRUMP FAMILY FOUNDATION SLUSH FUND…. Will they see jail?
VISUALIZE REVOLUTION!.... We know where they live!
“Underwood is a Democrat and is seeking millions of dollars in penalties. She wants Trump and his eldest children barred from running other charities.”

WHO IS FINANCING ALL THE TRUMP AND SON-IN-LAW’S REFINANCING SCAMS???
FOLLOW THE MONEY!
"I doubt that Trump understands -- or cares about -- what message he's sending. Wealthy Saudis, including members of the extended royal family, have been his patrons for years, buying his distressed properties when he needed money. In the early 1990s, a Saudi prince purchased Trump's flashy yacht so that the then-struggling businessman could come up with cash to stave off personal bankruptcy, and later, the prince bought a share of the Plaza Hotel, one of Trump's many business deals gone bad. Trump also sold an entire floor of his landmark Trump Tower condominium to the Saudi government in 2001."

“The Wahhabis finance thousands of madrassahs 

throughout the world where young boys are 

brainwashed into becoming fanatical foot-soldiers 

for the petrodollar-flush Saudis and other emirs of 

the Persian Gulf.” AMIL IMANI

  I recommend that Ignatius read Raymond Ibrahim's outstanding book Sword and Scimitar, which contains accounts of dynastic succession in the Muslim monarchies of the Middle East, where standard operating procedure for a new monarch on the death of his father was to strangle all his brothers.  Yes, it's awful.  But it has been happening for a very long time.  And it's not going to change quickly, no matter how outraged we pretend to be. MONICA SHOWALTER

WHAT WILL TRUMP AND HIS PARASITIC FAMILY DO FOR MONEY???

JUST ASK THE SAUDIS!

JOHN DEAN: Not so far. This has been right by the letter of the special counsel’s charter. He’s released the document. What I’m looking for is relief and understanding that there’s no witting or unwitting likelihood that the President is an agent of Russia. That’s when I’ll feel comfortable, and no evidence even hints at that. We don’t have that yet. We’re still in the process of unfolding the report to look at it. And its, as I say, if [Attornery General William Barr] honors his word, we’ll know more soon.

Morning Joe: Trump Is ‘Owned by Putin,’ Head of ‘Criminal Organization’

Listen to the Article!


By Kyle Drennen |
Following a discussion of President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, on Thursday, MSNBC’s Morning Joe went far beyond standard criticism of the controversial foreign policy move and wildly claimed it was proof that Trump was “owned by Putin” and heading up a “criminal organization” that had been “laundering money” for the Russian autocrat for decades.
As the 6:00 a.m. ET hour segment about Syria was wrapping up and co-host Mika Brzezinski was starting to go to a commercial break, left-wing pundit Donny Deutsch interrupted to squeeze in an unfounded conspiratorial rant in which he accused the President of multiple crimes: “Let’s not forget it. This is all about failed casinos. He is owned by Putin because he’s been laundering money, Russian money for the last 20, 30 years. He’s owned by him. That’s what this is.”
Brzezinski voiced her agreement with irresponsible and unsubstantiated attack: “Oh, my lord....Yeah.”


Deutsch continued his tirade unchallenged:
You talk to any banker in New York, any business person in New York, any real estate person in New York, we have a president that’s selling out our military, that’s costing lives because he is owned by our geopolitical enemy because he’s been laundering money for him as a criminal organization for the last 30 years. That will come out in time.
Co-host Joe Scarborough seemed to offer a small dose of sanity in response: “That is – that is speculation and only speculation right now.” However, he quickly added: “I will say that it is speculation among New York bankers who have loaned Donald Trump money in the past and who have been following his business career for 30, 40 years.” Brzezinski chimed in: “Who know a lot.”
Scarborough then launched into his own conspiracy theory:
But I think we all will be absolutely fascinated when we finally figure out what Vladimir Putin has on Donald Trump and why Donald Trump has surrendered the Middle East, helped ISIS, helped Iran, helped Russia, helped Turkey, helped all of our enemies and betrayed all of our allies. You know, a lot of people think that it’s – he has compromising pictures or something happened in a hotel in Russia years ago. No. It goes back to money. It’s always about money.
He concluded the unhinged discussion by asserting: “And this president is selling not only America, but its most important allies, down the river for money he wants to make either while in office or when he leaves office, period, end of story.”
It’s never enough for the liberal media to simply express a policy disagreement with Trump and say that the U.S. abandoning its Kurdish allies in northern Syria would have a negative outcome. Instead, journalists and pundits must always try to outdo each other to make the most outrageous declarations imaginable to prove their bona fides as members of the resistance.
Here is a full transcript of the October 24 exchange:
6:48 AM ET
DONNY DEUTSCH: Make no mistake, because it’s easy to forget. Let’s not forget it. This is all about failed casinos. He is owned by Putin...