This is your President speaking.

Number 119 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Why was the FBI giving so much information to the Fake News Media. They are not supposed to be doing that, and knowing the enemy of the people Fake News, they put their own spin on it – truth doesn’t matter to them!

You tell them, Mr. President. While you still have time.
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Don’t drop the soap.

Number 9 in a Series

Facing possibly the rest of your life behind bars? There are a number of things you will need to  keep in mind. One is that you can only go so long before you will need to take a shower. No problem. Just don’t drop the soap.

Screen shots are from MSNBC on YouTube and ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, streaming on Hulu.

Paul Manafort was born on 1 April 1949 (bad omen), making him 69 years old. During these past 69 years he has accumulated a number of notable accomplishments, including a short law career and working for the Gerald Ford,Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Robert Dole, and Donald Trump campaigns. He also did some consulting work for now deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, some of this work involving lobbying the United States government. A problem is that some of the work Manafort performed involved illegal activities, and the FBI has been on his trail for several years.

Come the 2016 election, and American intelligence services, including the FBI became aware that the Russian government was inserting its influence into the process. Time passed, and Donald Trump was elected president, and he fired FBI Director James Comey, who persisted in investigating this stuff. The Deputy Attorney General appointed Robert Mueller as special prosecutor to look into the business behind Comey’s firing and the Russian misdeeds, and Paul Manafort came into his gun sights. Last October Mr. Mueller had enough evidence, and he filed criminal indictments against Manafort. Others were similarly indicted, with some pleading guilty and at least one serving his term and walking out.

Paul Manafort was not one of those to plead, so he remained out of jail on bail, confined to his quarters and wearing two ankle bracelets to track his movements. The problem was they forgot to put ankle bracelets on his cell phone, and shortly the FBI, having obtained a warrant, noticed criminal activity salted among his communications.

Yes, he was caught attempting to influence potential witnesses against him. He wanted them to lie.

Of course, when Robert Mueller’s prosecutors presented evidence of this to federal judge Amy Berman Jackson she laughed it off.

Just kidding. She had some choice remarks relating to what actions she could take.

And she didn’t. She revoked Paul Manafort’s bail and ordered him to jail on Friday, where he has been since. Given his age and given the charges against Paul Manafort, if convicted he will possibly spend the remainder of his life behind bars. President Trump came forth quickly to comment on this obvious miscarriage of justice.

And, we have to wonder why, since Mr. Trump assures us that Paul Manafort was not a major player in his campaign. Here he is with Paul Manafort’s not being a major player in his campaign.

Here is some more of Paul Manafort not being a major player in the Trump campaign.

Here is Paul Manafort not being a major player in the Trump campaign by being the person who brought in Mike Pence as the Donald Trump vice presidential nominee.

Here is President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliano lawyer reminding us how matters will really turn out.

Mr. Giuliani, and possibly Mr. Trump, may be thinking that dangling the promise of a presidential pardon will reassure Paul Manafort and encourage him to keep his mouth shut. This is short on two levels.

  • Paul Manafort is additionally under investigation on state charges in New York. The president cannot pardon somebody from other than federal charges.
  • Once pardoned, Paul Manafort loses his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, since he will no longer be able to incriminate himself. At that point prosecutors can force him to  testify about what he knows relating to the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and any other criminal matter. If he refuses to testify he can be held in contempt of court, and will serve some jail time. If he testifies falsely, he can be prosecuted for perjury.

In any event, Paul Manafort can look forward to the shower experience in the slam. He needs to take care to not drop the soap.

This is your President speaking.

Number 116 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns. Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob. What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair!

Tough break, Mr. President. It’s a good thing you didn’t hire crooked campaign managers the way the Democrats did.

The Golden Shower

Number 33 of a Series

I recently finished reading James Clapper’s book, Facts and Fears, out last month and available in a Kindle edition for $15 ($14.99 plus tax). Clapper is a retired Air Force lieutenant general, more recently serving as Director of National Intelligence. His final day on the job was inauguration day for President Donald Trump, and during his long career in military intelligence and in the civilian intelligence system he had great opportunity to observe the workings of our government’s very expensive system for gathering information.

In his course he developed a great respect for fact and the telling of truth. As he observed the candidacy of Donald Trump he was dismayed at both the lack of regard for truth and at the same time the ever more obvious fact that Mr. Trump was under the influence of a foreign government. The later chapters of his book deal with his assessment of Mr. Trump and with the influence the Russian government exerted on the 2016 election.

To be clear, it quickly became obvious to American intelligence that Vladimir Putin’s government despised candidate Hillary Clinton, and it set its intelligence warfare apparatus to work with the aim to undermine her candidacy. When Donald Trump became the presumptive nominee, much of the Russians’ effort swung toward support for the Trump campaign. I will write a review of the book, but for now a few excerpts will illustrate James Clapper’s observations.

The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process.

Clapper, James R.. Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence (p. 352). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

We knew now that the Russians had thousands of Twitter accounts and tens of thousands of bots that posted more than a million tweets. They posted more than a thousand videos on YouTube with days of streaming content. Facebook has said Russian content reached 126 million of its American users—an astonishing number, considering that only 139 million Americans voted.

Clapper, James R.. Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence (p. 395). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Most interesting was the extent to which members of Congress, dominated by Trump’s party, were eager to support the narrative pushed by Russian intelligence. Particularly, the Fox cable network, which never seems to find a right wing notion it will not support, diligently assisted in the Russian effort.

In April, Mr. Trump first used the phrase “lying, crooked Hillary” to refer to his likely opponent in the primary election. RT, Fox News, and paid and unpaid trolls across social media latched on to the moniker. Russia and the Trump campaign seemed to be quite in sync, but that didn’t necessarily mean they were colluding—coordinating their efforts behind closed doors. They may simply have had a lot in common: a strong dislike for both the Washington political establishment and Hillary Clinton personally; a proclivity for social media, particularly Twitter, which meant they’d end up sharing each other’s ideas on the internet [sic]; and a genuine delight in wallowing in conspiracy theories.

Clapper, James R.. Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence (p. 334). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

If you are not familiar with the RT television network, an excerpt from Wikipedia will be helpful:

RT (formerly Russia Today) is a Russian international television network funded by the Russian government. It operates cable and satellite television channels directed to audiences outside of Russia, as well as providing Internet content in English, Spanish, French, German, Arabic and Russian.

Government intelligence agencies initiated an intense investigation into the activities waged against the election, and this effort continues to the present. Prior to the end of his term in office, President Obama ordered briefings on these intelligence findings and made them available to the new administration. With great dismay, the intelligence community found that rather than accepting these findings whole heartedly, the Trump administration pushed back with a vengeance. After Donald Trump assumed office FBI Director James Comey declined to put an end to the bureau’s investigation and President Trump fired him. Subsequently a special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, was appointed to investigate and to bring criminal charges to those involved in criminal activity. That was 13 months ago, and during all this time the Trump administration, right-leaning members of Congress, and also conservative news outlets, have maintained an effort to end these investigations and, failing that, to undermine public confidence in the findings and in the people working the case.

With some surprise, I find amusement in all this. An element of my amusement is a stream  of imagery running across my TV screen almost daily. Most recently, there was John Oliver’s show, Last Week Tonight.

Oliver claims this is one of a series he calls “Stupid Watergate.”

Regardless, it’s Oliver’s biting— and at the same time humorous—take, on the massive pushback against the Mueller investigation and on the simultaneous attacks against the American intelligence agencies. I streamed the TV episode on my computer and captured 59 screen shots to illustrate the story line, and I may not use all of them in this posting. Here’s the story.

Fox Network is particularly aggressive in casting the investigation as a witch-hunt. Sean Hannity, who has very close ties with the president, does not have enough time in a day to say all he wants relating to the matter.

Tucker Carlson is no less effusive.

Additionally, Fox has Sebastian Gorka, Roger Stone, Newt Gingrich, and even President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

At this time I need to apologize if somebody in these shots appears in bad form. Truth is I have to watch these stream live on YouTube, and I have to snag the Print Screen button at just the right moment, when nobody’s eyes are closed, or worse. Sometimes I am successful.

Anyhow, they are all calling the Mueller investigation a witch-hunt, prompting John Oliver to declare therefore there must be witches.

New indictment filed against Manafort names ally with Russian intel ties. “… 20 people and 3 companies have been charged.”

From The New York Times:

Mueller investigation enters year two: What comes next — and how it could end “Five guilty pleas.”

Oliver points out the objective of this jawboning the matter has the goal of reducing public confidence in the process and the people. Last July 62% of those polled thought the investigation should continue. By April of this year the level had dropped to 54%. The strategy seems to be working.

On another matter, it is being claimed by the president and his allies that federal authorities planted a spy in his organization back in 2016. This narrative is being pushed relentlessly, despite a complete lack of evidence.

Oliver outlines three tactics employed to deflect the investigation findings. The first is “redefine,” establish a alternate definition of what the investigation is about and attack that.

Here is a woman commenting on Fox News. Somebody please help me to identify her, because I have no clue. Anyhow, we hear her saying:

Mueller is there to show collusion between Russia and Trump, and there is [none] so far, so why not end it.

Hannity is saying:

Where is there any evidence of collusion? Show us. Nothing so far. Not a whiff.

Katrina Pierson, advisor for Trump 2020 campaign:

There is zero evidence of Russia collusion.

And Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway makes the ultimate case, and if anybody can explain it to me, then I will buy them a beer. And I will have one for myself.

Unkindly, Oliver reminds these good people that evidence of Russian collusion is not and never was a part of Mueller’s directive. His task, as originally directed by his boss, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, was to [investigate]:

“… any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of  President Donald Trump …”

The second tactic is what Oliver calls “whataboutism.”

Yeah, what about all that stuff others do? Hannity points to our notorious two-tiered justice system, apparently one set of rules for his favorite president and another set for everybody else.

He informs us of the massive load of malfeasance perpetrated by those others.

These are all very bad people, and if anybody can tell me what they have done that warrants my attention, then there is another beer waiting.

Oliver counters with his own list, equally staked out. Almost anybody can put a bulletin board and a list of perps in bold white font.

He notes the utility of this approach. If you produce a movie, and it gets a bad rating, then you can point to the blockbuster hit From Justin to Kelly. “Look at how bad that was, so why am I not getting an Oscar?”

The logic is impossible to challenge.

Then there is the counter narrative.

I don’t watch Fox News much, so I missed out on some stuff. Apparently Hannity has a passel of conspiracy theory story boards that outline the Mueller and Clinton crime families.

Who would have suspected this stuff was going on? Possibly not Hannity, but definitely a basket full of deplorables, who bought into this line and voted for Donald Trump. Sadly, it turns out, there is one graphic which even John Oliver is unable to decipher. Explanation please, and another beer.

More or less echoing what James Clapper details in his book, Hannity has been on the air “night after night” pushing the theory that the investigation is one massive plot to take down President Trump, and it involves the Democrats, the FBI, the “deep state,” and “establishment” Republicans. Hannity repeats a favorite catch phrase, calling the Mueller investigation bigger than Watergate. He says again and again it makes Watergate look “like stealing a Snickers bar.” There follows a sequence of shots similar to the one below and showing Hannity invoking the Snickers comparison.

This gives Oliver the opening to have his own fun with a Snickers bar.

Two of the names on Hannity’s “Waiting to be Raided” board are Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. These were two government workers originally gainfully employed in the Mueller investigation. While so employed, they were also enjoying some sub rosa snuggle bunnies. They were humping on the sly while married to others. Worse, they were found to have exchanged disparaging remarks about Donal Trump, said exchanges being conveyed through their employer’s email system. Mueller dismissed both from the investigation upon learning this, and they have since left government service.

Gone from the taxpayers feed trough, the pair still provide grist for the Fox News mill. Gregg Jarrett does not pass up the opportunity to refer to them: “If these two cheating love birds, who were still married to other people at the time, have any opportunity to still do their jobs at the FBI …”

This is the opening for Hannity. He is ripe to unload on Page with choice characterization:

There she is. FBI love bird Lisa Page …

This is scandalous beyond the pale. I mean, Watergate comes off as filching a Snickers bar by comparison.

That stalwart of moral propriety, Mike Huckabee, joins the chorus. He goes full conspiratorial, cupping his hands to his mouth as he intones “and secret lover” when referring to Page. Hester Prynne somebody else need your A.

Appears to be the same Fox News mystery woman, dishing on Strzok and Page. They are getting off the hook for their misdeeds to keep the anti-Trump scheme on  oxygen.

The pair’s misdeeds are undisputed. From The Washington Post:

FBI officials’ text message about Hillary Clinton said to be a cover story for romantic affair. “… relied on work phones to try to hide their romance from a spouse …”

The views they exchanged were unworthy of government employees:

“God trump is a lothsome human.”

“God Hillary should win 1,000,000,000 – 0.”

Imagine what kind of person would say such a thing about Donald Trump. A possible description might be “sentient life form.”

The picture painted by those pesky facts is less than lurid. From The Wall Street Journal, which went to the trouble of reading the several thousand messages exchanged between the two:

Inside the FBI Life of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, as Told in  their Text Messages

The conclusion being “… show no evidence of a conspiracy against Mr. Trump.”

Introducing “Spy Gate,” a more recent Hannity brain storm, according to Oliver.

At this point I pause to weep for the English lexicon. Forty-six years ago the Democratic Party was headquartered in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. The etymology for this site has a local history, but at the time I was already acquainted with the need to apply spiffy names to mundane constructions, being acquainted with the newly-constructed Westgate building in Austin, Texas.

Anyhow, for the next two years the word Watergate was on the front page of about every American newspaper, and it got stuck in copywriters’ heads, filling that empty place from which originality is supposed to flow. Since the time it has become the custom to name a scandal of any scale by snagging a tag word and appending “gate.” Shortly there was Koreagate:

 … in 1976 involving South Korean political figures seeking influence from 10 Democratic members of Congress.

After that there was no holding back the flood, producing among many, Tunagate. Alas, “Spygate” was inevitable.

Despite Mr. Hannity’s deepest desires and despite what fuels the fever in his imaginative brain, Spygate is he stuff of yawns. From The New York Times:

F.B.I. Used informant to investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims

“… F.B.I. agents sent an informant to  talk to two campaign advisers [who] had suspicious contacts linked to Russia …”

Working at a cut above Alex Jones, Fox News relentlessly pumps the Spygate liturgy. Congressman Trey Gowdy, no stranger to investigative overreach, is seen telling panelists on CBS This Morning that the FBI was doing exactly what the FBI is required to do in such a situation. Not good news for Fox and Friends, and not so good for Congressman Gowdy, as well, his comments drawing immediate fire from Trump supporters.

Fox and Friends want us to know government investigators spooked the Trump campaign apparatus in a dark scheme to undermine the candidate. In a different world, where the sun comes up every morning, newspaper headlines read, “FBI Investigates Possible Crime.”

Oliver characterizes this as reporting that Domino’s delivers pizza. Who would have thought of that?

We see Lou Dobbs, commenting on Gowdy’s remarks:

I’m naming names here. I’m through with it. Trey Gowdy … is schizophrenic … He is absolutely in the service of the establishment. And the deep state, where they are consciously … purposely …

And that is so amusing, because “the establishment” is what left wing radicals used to call the Republican Party 50 years ago.

Oliver reminds us this is in  accordance with Conspiracy Theory 101 [my words]. Anybody speaking against the conspiracy theory is part of the conspiracy.

Something is obvious wrong here. We see Hannity making the case in a most queer way:

No evidence of Trump Russia collusion. Mueller, if you got it, come on the show and tell America. And by the way, if the media, if you have more proof that this is not a witch-hunt. OK. I don’t believe you.

Oh Jesus. They have reached the tipping point. No amount of counter evidence will convince them. This is Conspiracy Theory 101 §1.2. Take note, students. It’s going to be on the quiz.

Oliver cruelly reminds viewers of what is known. In June 2016 Donald Trump Jr. set up a meeting in  Trump Tower with a Russian agent who promised to provide dirt on candidate Clinton.

The hard facts available to us are not the result of any deep state intrusion into a political campaign, nor are they the result of an aggressive FBI investigation. We know these things because Donald Trump Jr., oldest son of the current president, tweeted this information out, from which it was picked up and published in a major newspaper.

Hannity has a masterful comeback to that bit of news.

He proudly reveals that a Russian-American lobbyist at the Trump Tower meeting reports knows Hillary Clinton and associates.

Score for Hannity! Not quite. Supposedly Hillary Clinton sent a Russian agent to a meeting with the aim of spilling incriminating evidence on herself. Oliver properly catalogs this response as the “shittiest conspiracy theory ever.” And I did not even realize this was supposed to be a contest.

Putting it all together, Hillary Clinton, her good friend Trey Gowdy, and the FBI, engaged in a dark  plot to sabotage the Trump campaign. Pardon me while I take a break and have another beer.

If this explanation is correct, then a massive conspiracy involved diverse people and agencies working diligently to cost Trump the election. Then came the time to implement it and they all took vacation. Yes, I believe that. I believe it. I think.

But wait! Please do not come at me with pitchforks and blazing torches, but I have horrendous news for you. It works. All this finagling with the truth and all this carpet bombing the airwaves with cockamamie conjectures actually convinces a large segment of the population. Clips from [apparently] an Emory University focus group study record remarks from adult American  citizens.

They call it a farce, created by the deep state.

It was a witch-hunt to overturn the election. All of this stuff that they say Trump did, they are finding out the Democrats did.

It’s been going on for a year and a half. They found nothing. She told … Oh, there’s something, there’s something. We’ll find it, we’ll find it. There’s nothing.

I hope you are sleeping better tonight. Don’t let me keep you awake.

Oliver likens it to the O.J. Simpson defense, which relied on discrediting parts of the state’s case and then convincing jurors the remainder of the case was similarly flawed. Trump supporters, including a major American news outlet, work with immense energy to keep the story alive while it gradually sinks in.

Oliver leaves us wondering whether, when it is all done, and Donald Trump skates free of any jail time, he will recapitulate O.J. and publish a tell-some book titled “If I Did It.” I will wait for the Kindle edition.

The intelligence community’s investigation continues, and Robert Mueller continues to bring charges and to prosecute people. Despite having President Trump and many others refer to this work as a witch-hunt, Mueller’s team continues to find offenses that require prosecution. At least one party so charged has already served his term in jail.

American intelligence has established credibility for their findings related to Russian efforts to undermine our electoral process and also to compromise the American president. The Steele dossier, which surfaced late in the 2016 election cycle, details Russian efforts to influence Donald Trump, and many of the allegations included in it have good confirmation. Other parts have not, including a humorous section after which this series is titled:

However, there were other aspects to TRUMP’s engagement with the Russian authorities. One which had borne fruit for them was to exploit TRUMP’s person  obsessions and sexual perversion in order to  obtain suitable ‘kompromat’ (compromising material) on him. According to Source D, where s/he had been present, TRUMP’s perverted) conduct in Moscow included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he knew president and Mrs OBAMA (whom he hated) had stayed on  one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him. the hotel was known to be under FSB control  with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to.

The vision of a future American President, paying to watch prostitutes pee on a bed in an upscale Moscow hotel would have been difficult to summon up scant years ago. Times have changed, and the Golden Shower is now a meme I promote at every opportunity. I hoist it as a banner against the oft-cited basket of deplorables that allowed themselves to be manipulated by a foreign government to elect the sorriest piece of humanity to ever lead our country. My fondest hope is that when these people close their eyes for the last time, this is the vision what remains burned into their retinas. And that’s just me being gracious.

The Golden Shower

Number 32 of a Series

Up front I need to state that as far as I know there is no confirmation that the most salacious part of the Steele dossier is true. However, I would be surprised if it were not. As much as I regret having to  recapitulate the sordid details, I will do it again as a matter of perspective:

However, there were other aspects to TRUMP’s engagement with the Russian authorities. One which had borne fruit for them was to exploit TRUMP’s person  obsessions and sexual perversion in order to  obtain suitable ‘kompromat’ (compromising material) on him. According to Source D, where s/he had been present, TRUMP’s perverted) conduct in Moscow included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he knew president and Mrs OBAMA (whom he hated) had stayed on  one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him. the hotel was known to be under FSB control  with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to.

Most readers will agree with me that the vision of a president of the United States paying prostitutes to pee on a bed in a swanky Moscow hotel while he watched is hard to imagine. At least it was hard to imagine until recently. Not so hard anymore. Weekly developments bring the vision into sharper focus.

Start with an episode of the Rachel Maddow Show that ran on MSNBC yesterday. I like to catch these as they stream on YouTube. I can put them up on my computer and capture screen shots to illustrate. That’s what you see above. The link to this clip has gone stale, removed by the user, but you may be able to find another clip, perhaps posted by MSNBC. I will tell this story by putting up screen shots from YouTube and from a few other sources, adding my comments.

First, Paul Manafort, who served as the Donald Trump Campaign manager from June to August 2016. He had served in the Trump campaign since March 2016, agreeing to work for free. In June Trump fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and gave the job to Manafort. On 6 June, the same month Manafort took the campaign manager job, he attended a meeting in Trump Tower in New York along with others in the campaign. The meeting was originally proposed by a Russian lawyer promising to provide dirt on Trump’s presumptive opponent, Hillary Clinton.

By August of  2016 word about Manafort’s association with Russian authorities seeped into  the Trump campaign, and his influence began to evaporate. He tendered his resignation, which resignation Donald Trump accepted on 19 August. Since that time it has come to light that the feds had been investigating Paul Manafort long before his association with the Trump campaign. As facts continue to unfold, Manafort’s eagerness to work for the Trump campaign without pay begin to make more sense.

Manafort had for years worked as a lobbyist for Russian interests, all the while failing to register this detail with the government, as required by law. A principal activity had been to champion the case for now deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. He had additional Russian interests, as well. One of those interests was Oleg V. Deripaska (see above):

He was once Russia’s richest man, worth $28 billion, but nearly lost everything due to mounting debts amid the 2007–08 financial crisis. As of May 2017, his wealth was estimated by Forbes at $5.2 billion. Deripaska is also known for his close ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin, as well as his connection to American political consultant Paul Manafort, whom Deripaska employed from at least 2005 to 2009.

Whatever the dealings between the two, word is that Manafort wound up in debt to Deripaska to the tune of $19 million. From The New York Times as posted by Rachel Maddow. The headline reads, “Manafort Was in Debt to  Pro-Russia Interests, Cyprus Records Show.”

Oleg V. Deripaska…claimed Mr. Manafort and his partners owed him $19 million.

I have experienced debt, and I agree it can weigh heavily. I cannot imagine, however, the weight of owing $19 million to  a person such as Oleg. V. Deripaska, an associate of Vladimir Putin. In  the video, Rachel Maddow allows as how this is the kind of thing that would keep her awake at night. Anyhow, a presumption is that Manafort saw that the close association with a winning presidential campaign would work wonders toward clearing up his strain with g. Deripaska. In the video Rachel Maddow puts up graphics chronicling the chain of events involving Paul Manafort and the investigation of his activities by the FBI, which obtained warrants to  monitor his communications. The Washington Post ran the story detailing some of those findings:

Manafort offered to give Russian billionaire private briefings on 2016 campaign.

The Atlantic posed the question, “Did Manafort Use Trump to Curry Favor With a Putin Ally?”

From The Atlantic:

On the evening of April 11, 2016, two weeks after Donald Trump hired the political consultant Paul Manafort to lead his campaign’s efforts to wrangle Republican delegates, Manafort emailed his old lieutenant Konstantin Kilimnik, who had worked for him for a decade in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

MSNBC relates snippets of exchanges between Manafort and Kilimnik, as obtained from The Atlantic:

“I assume you have shown our friends my media coverage, right” Manafort wrote.

“Absolutely,” Kilimnik responded a few hours later from Kiev.

“How do we use to get whole,” Manafort asks. “Has OVD operation seen?”

I cannot account for the grammar, but it appears Manafort is inquiring whether the contemplated dealings would settle, at least partly, his debt to “OVD,” meaning Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska.

“Yes, I have been sending everything to Victor, who has been forwarding the coverage directly to OVD,” Kilimnik responded in April

“I am carefully optimistic on the issue of our biggest interest,” Kilimnik went on. “Our friend V said there is lately significantly more attention to the campaign in his boss’s mind, and he will be most likely looking for ways to reach out to you pretty soon, understanding all the time sensitivity.”

“I am more than sure that it will be resolved and we will get back to the original relationship with V.’s boss.” The source close to Manafort confirmed that “V” is a reference to Victor, the Deripaska aide.

Manafort jumped on the suggestion that the campaign might offer the opportunity to restore his relationship with Deripaska: “Tell V boss that if he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” he wrote back eight minutes later.

“We spent about 5 hours talking about his story, and I have several important messages from him to you. He asked me to go and brief you on our conversation …

It has to do about the future of his country, and is quite interesting… please let me know which dates/places will work, even next week, and I could come and see you.”

Manafort agreed to the cryptic request, responding “Tuesday is best.” Manafort and Kilimnik met on August 2 at the Grand Havana Club, a Manhattan cigar club.

Kilimnik has said the two discussed “unpaid bills” and “current news.”

In case there is any doubt, here is this same Paul Manafort in cozy association with the future president and the future president’s daughter. This happy scene shortly shattered when Manafort was forced to leave the Trump campaign and also to lose his leverage with “OVD”

Cut loose from his any support he hoped to gain through the Trump campaign, Manafort was left dangling in the wind, still heavily in debt, under increasing scrutiny from federal agencies. His fortunes continue to spiral downward.

It’s worth while at this point to flesh out the character of Konstantin Kilimnik. From 1995 to 2005, Kilimnik was employed by the International Republican Institute, an organization funded by the United States Government to promote democratic ideals and operating in Russia and in other places. Wikipedia has some background on g. Kilimnik:

Konstantin Kilimnik is a Russian-Ukrainian political consultant and suspected Russian intelligence operative. As an associate of Paul Manafort his activities have become a point of focus in the 2017 Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. Kilimnik is believed by CNN and The New York Times to be “Person A” listed in court documents filed against Manafort and alleging Person A to either have ties to Russian intelligence agencies or to be a Russian intelligence operative. He is also believed to be Person A in court documents filed in the criminal indictment of Alex van der Zwaan. In 2017 Kilimnik denied any such intelligence ties.[1] Kilimnik was indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury on June 8, 2018 on charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice by attempting to tamper with a witness on behalf of Manafort.

From Politico, as posted by Rachel Maddow:

Kilimnik bounced around a bit, doing freelance translating, until eventually landing a job in  1995 in the Moscow office of the International Republican Institute.

The IRI knew of Kilimnik’s past association with Russian intelligence.

Kilimnik did not hide his military past from his new employer. In fact, when he was asked how he learned to speak such fluent English, he responded “Russian military intelligence,” according to one IRI official.

“It was like ‘Kostya, the guy from the GRU’ — that’s how we talked about him”

The GRU is:

Main Intelligence Directorate (RussianГла́вное разве́дывательное управле́ниеtr. Glavnoye razvedyvatel’noye upravleniyeIPA: [ˈglavnəjə rɐzˈvʲɛdɨvətʲɪlʲnəjə ʊprɐˈvlʲenʲɪjə]), abbreviated GRU (RussianГРУIPA: [geeˈru]), was the foreign military intelligence agency of the Soviet Army General Staff of the Soviet Union.

The fact of his training in military intelligence became the stuff of office teasing. When Kostya struggled to make sense of some American political terminology, the American official who hired him  would josh him about his martial past.

Note: “Kostya” is the diminutive form of his first name, “Konstantin.” The Russians do that a lot. For example, Ivan becomes Vanya. Tatiana becomes Tania.

“If I had you translate ‘There are seven tanks and three infantry with heavy mortar hiding on a bridge,’ you could translate that lickety-split, I bet.” According to the American  official, Kilimnik would wink and say, “Oh yeah, I could translate that real fast.”

The New York Times ran a story under the headline, “He says He’s an Innocent Victim. Robert Mueller Says He’s a Spy.”

They didn’t have evidence, but suspected Mr Kilimnik had been the source

When the IRI discovered in 2005 that g. Kilimnik was also working for Paul Manafort, they promptly fired him. Subsequently a Russian politician rose in their parliament to denounce the IRI, and he used statements made during a private IRI meeting. It is presumed that Kilimnik, in a fit of spite, leaked the conversation to the Russian parliamentarian.

Since his failed lunge for the brass ring two years ago, Manafort’s fortunes have spiraled increasingly downward. He is under indictment on multiple charges and is confined to his house under $10 million bail. A condition of his bail is that he quit doing all this bad stuff and otherwise behave himself. He failed at this, as well, being caught by the feds communicating with associates and attempting to get them to lie for him. Subsequent to reading these surreptitious dialogues, Robert Mueller’s team of prosecutors filed additional charges of witness tampering and asked that federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia revoke his bail and send him immediately to jail:

Manafort has violated 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b)(1) by attempting to tamper with potential witnesses while on pretrial release.

Meanwhile, the President, who jumped at Manafort’s offer of free service, with nary a thought of checking on his background, has since been working to distance himself from the scandal.

The Fake News is working overtime. As Paul Manaforts lawyer said, there was “no collusion” and events mentioned took place long before he…

….came to the campaign. Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar. Check the DEMS!

Fast forward and we now have a person who has access to the nuclear codes and who continues to run the country with the same attention to detail he employed in his previous endeavors. At this juncture who cares that he once paid prostitutes to pee on a bed. If only we could get  him back to that point.

The Government You Paid For

Number 35 of a Series

As I have mentioned before, I am so glad we are finally getting the government we paid for. That said, it’s time to turn our attention to one who daily puts service to the American public front and center on a daily basis.

On Wednesday CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, now moved to prime time, was down to the nation’s capital, and he interviewed White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She’s really just Sarah Sanders, being married to Mr. Bryan Sanders, but I like to insert her maiden name to remind us she is descended from former Arkansas governor and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. My observation has been that in this case the apple did not fall far from the tree, but that’s a matter for another story.

Anyhow, Mrs. Sanders has done an admirable job of speaking on behalf of President Trump since last year, when she took over for Sean Spicer, who had a tendency to wilt under the pressure. Apparently you can stand only so long telling reporters that it is so when all the while they know that it is not so. Saying it is so when it is not seems to be built into Sanders’ DNA, a definite requirement for the job. Take the above screen shot from Cuomo’s Wednesday night show. Before getting around to talking with Mrs. Sanders he cruelly put up a video, apparently of remarks she made on Monday regarding the low esteem the administration holds for mainstream media. She is quoted as saying of these news hawkers, “My credibility is probably higher.”

See what I mean? Sean Spicer, the previous press secretary, was able to make such statements, to his credit, but there was the perception he was having difficulty keeping a straight face. And, as I have said, he soon wilted and had to be pulled. Historically, Mrs. Sanders has stood firm and unblinking going on for nearly a year. Pardon the expression, but the lady has balls. This is one of those cases that require further analysis.

To begin with, the statement, “My credibility is probably higher,” could be misinterpreted. Without forewarning, the casual listener would be tempted to fill out the unsaid portion. To give an example, listeners might presume to reconstruct the statement like this: “Compared to Willie Sutton, my credibility is probably higher.” That was the thought that came to my mind, along with the thought that the conclusion is debatable.

Anyhow, Chris Cuomo’s segment runs over 19 minutes on YouTube, and CNN has been kind to post a transcript on-line, saving my having to run the tape back and forth to pick up snatches of the conversation. It’s interesting to examine a few excerpts. Here is one:

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: The most visible member of the administration outside of the president himself is Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and she is here.

Sarah, it is good to see you.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE: Good to see you.

CUOMO: I respect you taking the opportunity.

SANDERS: Thank you. Thanks for being in D.C.

CUOMO: Well, I came for you.

What do you think about this as a positive pivot? Let’s take a look at this situation and see if we can get to a place, mutual respect, both sides think credibility counts, and we move forward. What do you say?

SANDERS: All right. We’ll give it a shot.

Yeah, and that just about does it for the pleasantries for much of the remainder.

They begin by talking about the meeting at Trump Tower in New York on 9 June 2016 between members of the Trump campaign team and a Russian lawyer who promised to provide dirt on Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee. Trump campaign members attending included campaign manager Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr.

Records of the meeting preparations came to light, and there was an element of embarrassment. Trump Jr. attempted to put our minds at ease by asserting the meeting was not about Clinton, rather it concerned the adoption of Russian orphans. That was obviously a lie.

It was suspected that President Trump issued a statement for Trump Jr. to unload on pesky reporters. When these suspicions were voiced, the White House, in the person of Mrs. Sanders pushed back:

On August 1, at the next day’s White House press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated that Trump “certainly didn’t dictate, but … he weighed in, offered suggestion, like any father would do”

As we now know, that didn’t wash, despite reassurances from President Trump’s personal lawyer, Jay Sekulov:

On July 16, 2017, in an NBC interview Donald Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulov again said that Donald Trump did not draft the response and was not involved in the drafting of the statement.

Rather than continuing to bore you with the lengthy history, the lie has now been put to rest:

(CNN) – In a confidential letter to special counsel Robert Mueller in January, President Donald Trump’s legal team acknowledged for the first time that Trump “dictated” the first misleading statement put out about his son’s controversial 2016 meeting with Russians at Trump Tower.

And that’s the lead-in to the following exchange between Cuomo and Sanders:

CUOMO: All right. Where’s the sticking point? This meeting matters, you know it does. I understand the reference to counsel. I get it. Not just because I’m an attorney, but you don’t want to answer for the lawyers, you don’t want to answer for an operation that you’re not a part of. I get it.

But you can answer for what you said. You don’t have to refer to counsel for that. Sekulow is not your lawyer. He’s the president’s lawyer. You’re saying, he didn’t dictate this. He did what any father would do.

That turns out not to be true. You agree with that?

SANDERS: Once again, I know I answered this question on Monday. I answered it on Tuesday, and I’m going to answer it the same way today and you’re probably not going to like it anymore on Wednesday than it sounds like you liked it on Monday or Tuesday. But this is a legal matter and the appropriate individuals to answer questions on a legal matter are the outside counsel.

And I would direct you to them. And frankly, I did direct you to them. And you had them here on your set and asked them that question and I would refer you back to that statement.

See? That’s why Sanders makes the big bucks. She can stare a reporter in the face and say she already answered that question, which she did not do, and she will refer you back to an original statement in which she did not answer the question but instead referred back to another source, which source she observes is not covered by her job title, and that’s that, and you can take your silly questions and stick them where the sun does not shine.

There’s a lot more, and here’s a part of what gives me the most joy:

CUOMO: Let’s look at it a different way. Do you wish that the White House had corrected the error between where it started and where it wound up with Sekulow in this letter sooner?

SANDERS: I wish that we spent a lot less time focused on things the American people don’t care about. I wish we spent a lot less time talking about this witch hunt and that we talked about things that impact everyday Americans. I wish we spent a lot more time talking about the economy.

I wish that your network had spent a lot more time today covering a very important piece of legislation that the president signed when he spent a good bit of time this afternoon talking about the importance of Veterans Choice Act that he signed into law today. And your network didn’t even take that.

I wish those were the things that we spent time talking about that.

That’s right. We should be talking about the economy and the veterans bill just signed. Except that… Except, lady, your house is on fire! Don’t you think we should talk about that?

Truth be told, I do miss Sean Spicer. He squirmed so deliciously. Sanders, to my simultaneous dismay and wonder, pastes on that smile of self-righteous certitude and reminds us that we are wrong, and she is right. Move over, Willie Sutton.

This is your President speaking.

Number 114 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

When and where will all of the many conflicts of interest be listed by the 13 Angry Democrats (plus) working on the Witch Hunt Hoax. There has never been a group of people on a case so biased or conflicted. It is all a Democrat Excuse for LOSING the Election. Where is the server?

At long last we have a president willing to speak up on issues of most importance to the American people. Keep talking. We are listening.

This is your President speaking.

Number 113 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Chris Farrell, Judicial Watch. “They were running an operation to undermine a candidate for President of the U.S. These are all violations of law. This is intelligence tradecraft to steer an election. There’s nothing more grave when it comes to abuse of our intelligence system…

…This is a level of criminality beyond the pale. This is such a grave abuse of power and authority, it’s like nothing else we’ve seen in our history. This makes the Nixon Watergate burglary look like keystone cop stuff

Mr. President, speaking of a Keystone Cop operation

Don’t drop the soap.

Number 7 in a Series

This is turning out to be a theme that will get a lot of use. Instead of beginning to cool down as a certain Schlemiel-in-Chief seems to want, the matter continues to heat up. Readers still puzzling over the meaning, “Don’t drop the soap,” need to pause for a moment and reflect. Those who have spent time in stir do not need to reflect. They know this is good advice. It’s good advice for former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who has for months appeared to be headed that way, all the while working to step on  the brakes. More recently he has succeeded in pushing down harder on the gas.

The story is best illustrated by its telling on ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, streaming on Hulu, and also The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC streaming on YouTube, where I obtained these screen shots. There is some history.

More than two years ago Paul Manafort advanced himself for the job of managing candidate Donald Trump’s campaign. He offered to do it without pay, which is remarkable in itself. Subsequent events indicate the offer was not so remarkable. It was a time when Manafort was getting stretched thin and needed a way to painlessly recoup. The Trump campaign may have seemed to be Manafort’s opportunity to gain political access, said access being beneficial to his need to unload some financial reverses.

What should have been a slick move by Manafort turned out to be, according to O’Donnell, the worst decision by either of the parties. Association with the Trump campaign exposed Mr. Manafort to scrutiny of a special prosecutor investigating attempts by the Russian government of Vladimir Putin to influence the 2016 election:

The FBI reportedly began a criminal investigation into Manafort in 2014, shortly after Yanukovich was deposed. That investigation predated the 2016 election by several years and is ongoing. In addition, Manafort is also a person of interest in the FBI counterintelligence probe looking into the Russian government’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

On January 19, 2017, the eve of the Trump’s presidential inauguration, it was reported that Manafort was under active investigation by multiple federal agencies including the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Director of National Intelligence and the financial crimes unit of the Treasury Department.Investigations were said to be based on intercepted Russian communications as well as financial transactions. It was later confirmed that Manafort was wiretapped by the FBI “before and after the [2016] election … including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.” The surveillance of Manafort began in 2014, before Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President of United States.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed on May 17, 2017 by the Justice Department to oversee the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and related matters, took over the existing criminal probe involving Manafort. On July 26, 2017, the day after Manafort’s United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing and the morning of his planned hearing before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, FBI agents at Mueller’s direction conducted a “no-knock” pre-dawn raid on Manafort’s Alexandria, Virginia home, using a search warrant to seize documents and other materials, in regard to the Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Manafort’s legal situation eventually slimed the Trump campaign, something his August 2016 departure could not cure. But why? O’Donnell reminds us, “It’s the money, stupid.”

Manafort needed money from foreign sources, which he could get by leveraging his access to a new president, and Donald Trump figured to save a seven-figure fee for a campaign manager.

It all began to come unhinged when federal prosecutors started to investigate a suspicious meeting in June 2016, a meeting that involved, among others, Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., and a Russian lawyer who was promising to provide dirt on Trump’s presumptive opponent in the presidential election. The feds had already been tracking Manafort, due to his unregistered lobbying for foreign interests and also due to transactions that smacked of money laundering.

Apparently special prosecutor Robert Mueller started to consider pushing hard on Manafort with the aim at getting him to unload any inside information he might have on Trump campaign misbehavings.

A number of people associated with either President Trump or with Paul Manafort, or both, have already been prosecuted. Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos has already been sentenced after entering a guilty plea for giving false testimony. He is the one who initiated the investigatin when he bragged about dealings with the Russians. Manafort business associate Rick Gates has entered a guilty plea, as well. Manafort, to the contrary, asserts his innocence, but he is currently under house arrest on unsecured $10 million bail and wearing two ankle bracelets. The problem is, Manafort appears to have violated the terms of his bail, and will likely be off to jail while awaiting trial.

Conditions of Manafort’s bail include minor restrictions, such as not committing any more crimes. Apparently Manafort’s lawyers forgot to stress this point. Neither did they alert him that while he whiled away his time under house arrest the feds would obtain warrants to monitor his communications. Maybe that’s why he figured he could get away with collaborating with potential witnesses against him. A filing sent to federal judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia notes Manafort’s observed transgressions.

Manafort has violated 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b)(1) by attempting to tamper with potential witnesses while on pretrial release.

Manafort and Person A — who is a longtime associate of Manafort’s — repeatedly contacted Persons D1 and D2 in an effort to secure materially false testimony concerning the activities of the Hapsburg group.

“Hapsburg Group” is the name given to the team that sought to gain favor for the now-deposed government of Ukraine.

Manafort called Person D1 on Persons [sic] D1’s cellular phone. Person D1 sought to avoid Manafort, so Person D1 ended the call…. Manafort also sent Person D1 a text message on an encrypted application, stating “This is paul [sic].”

Manafort used the same encrpted application nto send Person D1 a news article describing the Superseding Indictment’s allegations concerning the Hapsburg group, which included the statement that

two European politicians were secretly paid around [$2 million] by Manafort in order  to ‘take positions favorable to Ukraine, including by lobbying in the United States.'” One minute after sending the news article,

Manafort wrote: “We should talk. I have made clear that they worked in Europe.” … Person D1 has told the government that he understood Manafort’s outreach to be an effort to “suborn perjury,” because Person D1 knew that the Hapsburg group worked in the United States — not just Europe.

“Suborn” is a term I would be unfamiliar with had I not watched so many trial room dramas on TV. Here’s the definition from an on-line dictionary:

bribe or otherwise induce (someone) to commit an unlawful act such as perjury.
“he was accused of conspiring to suborn witnesses”

Some of the details of Manafort’s communications are posted on-line:

Judge Jackson is expected to rule on 15 June whether Paul Manafort goes directly to jail. If he does, and if he is subsequently convicted and sentenced for his previously-charged crimes, it would be bad news of the worst kind. The man is 69 years old. He’s looking at a life sentence, even if convicted only of the jury tampering charge.

In the meantime, the President of the United States is weighing in.

The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax continues, all because Jeff Sessions didn’t tell me he was going to recuse himself…I would have quickly picked someone else. So much time and money wasted, so many lives ruined…and Sessions knew better than most that there was No Collusion!

Mr. President, you will be well advised to take a lesson from your former partner in  politics. Forget for a moment about digging yourself deeper, and keep one thing in mind for the future. Don’t drop the soap.

This is your President speaking.

Number 112 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong? In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!

I declare, this new president continues to set new levels of discourse, unseen in the office for more than a century. Will this become the standard?

Breitbart Mentality

Number 3 of an Infinite Series

Full disclosure: I signed up for a subscription to the Breitbart News email in July last year, and I now receive daily (sometimes more) missives from the right-leaning news group. Breitbart’s position on what matters is something that speaks for itself. This is from an email that arrived yesterday:

James Clapper Admits to ‘Spying’ from Inside Trump Campaign…

Following the link leads to:

23 May 2018

During a Tuesday appearance on the View, no less than the former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper described what was done by the Obama administration to Donald’s Trump campaign as “spying.”

Although Clapper said he does not like the word “spying” (considering how the disclosure of this spying has blown up in the Obama administration’s face, who can blame him?), he still used the word twice — because there is no other word.

Sounding rattled and defensive, even though he was among friends, Clapper, a left-wing partisan who served as DNI during the Obama administration, attempted to spin the “spying” into something that was for Trump’s own good and the good of the country.

And there is more. Follow the link and read the entire piece. What it displays, if nothing else, is a mindset. It’s a full-throated defense of Trump and what is becoming known as Trumpism. As it is becoming to be known, Trumpspeak exercises little regard for the truth. In this case the truth is more interesting. Readers can obtain the history from a number of sources: This is from Wikipedia:

According to court records, Papadopoulos was recruited to join Trump’s foreign policy advisor team in early March 2016 by Sam Clovis. In a meeting on March 6, the official told him that one of the campaign’s foreign policy priorities was to improve U.S.-Russia relations, though Clovis later denied having said that. Donald Trump identified Papadopoulos as one of his campaign’s foreign policy advisors on March 21, 2016, in an interview with the editorial board of The Washington Post. Trump said: “He’s an energy and oil consultant, excellent guy”.

At the time he was living in London, where he was approached by Joseph Mifsud, a professor with connections to high-ranking Russian officials. Mifsud attended meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club regularly, an annual conference held in Sochi, Russia, attended by Vladimir Putin. Mifsud told him the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” The two met on March 14 and 21, 2016. At the March 21 meeting Mifsud brought along a Russian woman, Olga Polonskaya, who posed as Putin’s niece.

Papadopoulos sent emails concerning Putin to at least seven campaign officials. Clovis, as Trump national campaign co-chairman, encouraged Papadopoulos to fly to Russia to meet with agents of the Russian Foreign Ministry, after being told that Russia had “dirt” on Clinton it wanted to share with Trump’s campaign. This occurred before there was public knowledge of the hack of Democratic National Committee and of John Podesta‘s emails, both of which U.S. intelligence agencies believe were carried out by Russia. In May 2016, Papadopoulos told the top Australian diplomat to the United Kingdom, Alexander Downer, that Russia had “political dirt” on Hillary Clinton, leading the Federal Bureau of Investigation to open a counterintelligence investigation into the Donald Trump presidential campaign.

Between March and September 2016, Papadopoulos made at least six requests for Trump or representatives of his campaign to meet in Russia with Russian politicians. In May, campaign chairman Paul Manafort forwarded one such request to his deputy Rick Gates, saying “We need someone to communicate that [Trump] is not doing these trips. It should be someone low-level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.” Gates delegated the task to the campaign’s correspondence coordinator, referring to him as “the person responding to all mail of non-importance.”

In an interview about Russia–United States relations with Interfax in September 2016, Papadopoulos said that Barack Obama had failed to follow through on his promises to cooperate with Russia, and asserted that the U.S. had made insufficient joint efforts with Russia against terrorism. As foreign policy advisor during Trump’s campaign, Papadopoulos helped set up a New York meeting between Trump and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the Egyptian head of state.[18] On January 20, 2017, just hours before Trump was going to be inaugurated, Papadopoulos and incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus met with Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos. Just after Trump became President, Papadopoulos visited Israel and told settlers in the West Bank that Trump supported their settlements.

Senator Richard Burr, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, said in October 2017 that the panel was interested in Papadopoulos because he had sent e-mails attempting to set up meetings between Trump and Putin. The recipients of emails about outreach to the Russian government reportedly were Clovis, Corey Lewandowski, Manafort, Gates, representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ivan Timofeev, and others.

The part about the Obama administration inserting a spy into the Trump campaign organization is missing from this narrative. The missing part seems to exist only in the fevered brain of Donald Trump, President of the United States, and in the strange world of Breitbart Mentality. Keep reading. There will be more to come.

Schlemiel-in-Chief

Number 33 in a series

When you do it over and over and never seem to get it right…

Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!

James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!

Clapper has now admitted that there was Spying in my campaign. Large dollars were paid to the Spy, far beyond normal. Starting to look like one of the biggest political scandals in U.S. history. SPYGATE – a terrible thing!

That’s the definition of a Schlemiel-in-Chief.

This is your President speaking.

Number 108 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State. They go after Phony Collusion with Russia, a made up Scam, and end up getting caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before! What goes around, comes around!

Yes, Mr. President, what goes around does come around. Don’t drop the soap.

This is your President speaking.

Number 107 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!

I am told that history does not repeat itself, but sometimes it rhymes.

Odd Ball Conservatives Say the Darndest Things

Number 9 in a Series

I’ve been telling people for a long time that Odd Ball Conservatives Say the Darndest Things, so this should not have come as a surprise. I was watching YouTube this morning, and there was a clip where CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was having an interview with Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York, former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and currently a lawyer for President Trump. At this stage in life I can rightly be termed “jaded,” but even so, something this former prosecuting attorney said shook me.

Watch the video. There is a discussion about whether President Trump can be forced to testify before Robert Mueller’s investigation, and it got down to point of speculating what would happen were he to do so. Then it happens. About 14:05 into the clip the President’s lawyer says, “The president is not going to lie.”

Yes, he said it. The President’s lawyer makes the flat claim that the President is not going to lie. Church bells should have been ringing as the ground shook. First there is the matter that the President’s lawyer would feel the need to make the statement. Second there is the bald-faced claim, itself. The President is not going to lie.

Since when.

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

We should be focused on clean and beautiful air-not expensive and business closing GLOBAL WARMING-a total hoax!

An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that ‘s birth certificate is a fraud.

Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure,it’s not your fault

We just approved $700 billion for our military,” Trump said. “So we’re going to be having the best equipment ever known.  And next year, $716 billion. So I wanted to let you know. And, by the way — I know you don’t care about this — but that also includes raises for our military. First time in 10 years.
The Washington Post has compiled a tally of presidential  whoppers. Here are a few:

He claimed he had attracted 32,000 people at a rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., on the eve of the election when the venue held only 4,200 and local media estimated that perhaps that many were waiting outside, for a total of 8,000.

He once again claimed that under the Iran nuclear agreement, the United States gave the country $150 billion. But this was always Iran’s money. Iran had billions of dollars in assets that were frozen in foreign banks around the globe because of international sanctions over its nuclear program. The Treasury Department estimated that once Iran fulfilled other obligations, it would have about $55 billion left. The Central Bank of Iran said the number was actually $32 billion.

For the 31st time, he used a made-up number — $7 trillion — for how much the United States supposedly has spent on wars in the Middle East.

He once again claimed that President Xi Jinping of China instantly agreed to a request from Trump to allow the sale of U.S. beef after years of blocking it. But China had already agreed to such sales under a deal brokered by the Obama administration.

He claimed “we have done more than anybody in a year” and “I accomplished more than I promised.” In reality, at the end of his first year, Trump had signed fewer bills than any president since Dwight D. Eisenhower (though he has since caught up and passed Obama and is tied with George W. Bush). As for promises, our Trump Promise Tracker shows Trump has only kept 23 percent of 60 key promises and broken 27 percent.

The foregoing is a thin shadow of the lies cast by this President. And now Rudy Giuliani proposes that Donald Trump will go before Robert Mueller’s investigation, and he will not lie. Wait for the earthquake.

This is your President speaking.

Number 106 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI “SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN EMBEDDED INFORMANT.” Andrew McCarthy says, “There’s probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the campaign.” If so, this is bigger than Watergate!

Disgraceful. Why would President Obama want to snoop on the Trump campaign? Ask and your questions will be answered.

Question: If all of the Russian meddling took place during the Obama Administration, right up to January 20th, why aren’t they the subject of the investigation? Why didn’t Obama do something about the meddling? Why aren’t Dem crimes under investigation? Ask Jeff Sessions!

This is your President speaking.

Number 105 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Congratulations America, we are now into the second year of the greatest Witch Hunt in American History…and there is still No Collusion and No Obstruction. The only Collusion was that done by Democrats who were unable to win an Election despite the spending of far more money!

Thank you, Mr. President, and here is some advice to you. Don’t drop the soap.

This is your President speaking.

Number 104 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Can you believe that with all of the made up, unsourced stories I get from the Fake News Media, together with the $10,000,000 Russian Witch Hunt (there is no Collusion), I now have my best Poll Numbers in a year. Much of the Media may be corrupt, but the People truly get it!

Keep talking, Mr. President, and I will keep writing.

Don’t drop the soap.

Number 6 in a Series

It’s good advice to anybody who’s in the position of President Trump’s personal lawyer. Last week on CNN Anderson Cooper was speaking to another lawyer acquainted with Michael Cohen. Michael Avenatti, who represents porn star Stormy Daniels in a case against Cohen, continues to find interesting details related to Cohen’s business dealings.

Cohen formed Essential Consultants LLC a few days prior to writing a check to the actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. The check was for $130,000, and it was payment to Ms. Clifford in return for her agreement to not talk publicly about having humped the future president ten years previous. The Delaware company was from all appearances formed for the sole purpose of insulating Cohen from the payment. It was Essential Consultants whose name was on  the check. That would have been interesting enough, but this Delaware company-in-name-only has since developed a life of its own, and that life seems to  consist entirely of passing money from one hand to the next. More recent customers include:

  • Columbus Nova
  • Novartis Investments S.a.r.l.
  • AT&T
  • Korea Aerospace Industries.

For people who do not know, Columbus Nova is an investment company with ties to Victor Vekselberg. Mr. Vekselberg is a Russian oligarch with close ties to recurring Russian President Vladimir Putin. Novartis is a multi-national pharmaceutical company based in Switzerland. That company’s modus operandi has in the past included making multi-million dollar bribes to foreign governments. AT&T is, of course, a century-old American company that began life as Southwestern Bell Telephone company, an offshoot of a company formed by telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell. Full disclosure: my mother spent her working career working for this company and retired on a company pension. Upon her death I received a death benefit of several hundred dollars from the company. Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is the sole major aircraft company in South Korea. Their recent claim to fame includes the company’s near collapse following revelations that company executives were fixing the books and directing cash into their pockets. A deal with American  Lockheed-Martin to build military aircraft is now in jeopardy.

Enough of that. Attorney Cohen, whose only client seems to be the President of the United States, recently had every inch of his personal space raided by the FBI seeking information relating  to special  prosecutor Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian government meddling with the 2016 election. Is Mr. Cohen in trouble? He has not been charged with any crime, although his payment to Ms. Clifford has the possibility of being in violation of campaign finance law.

The CNN interview with attorney Avenatti yielded a number of picturesque screen shots, including this one:

So, Columbus Nova is assuring us that gospodin Vekselberg was not personally involved in making payments to Michael Cohen. That is most comforting to Mr. Cohen. Provided it sticks.

In  the meantime, I have some advice for Mr. Cohen. Wherever life and circumstances take you in the next few months, keep your wits about you, and be aware at all times of your surroundings. And don’t drop the soap.

This is your President speaking.

Number 102 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

The Failing New York Times purposely wrote a false story stating that I am unhappy with my legal team on the Russia case and am going to add another lawyer to help out. Wrong. I am VERY happy with my lawyers, John Dowd, Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow. They are doing a great job and…..

…have shown conclusively that there was no Collusion with Russia..just excuse for losing. The only Collusion was that done by the DNC, the Democrats and Crooked Hillary. The writer of the story, Maggie Haberman, a Hillary flunky, knows nothing about me and is not given access.

Readers, we need to keep this man. The entertainment value is worth ten times what we are paying. If you don’t believe me, ask John Dowd and Ty Cobb. But don’t ask Joseph DiGenova.