Donald Trump and his sycophantic attorney general Bill Barr had an “animated talk” in the Oval Office Thursday night, according to a pool report from the White House Press Corps. Two sources told CNN that the topic of the heated exchange was Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s imminent report on the origins of the FBI’s investigation into Russian support for Trump’s 2016 campaign.
“During his final two years in office and for several months afterward, former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) paid a Miami dentist and childhood friend with no political experience nearly $400,000 for political consulting,” the Miami Herald reports. … And since losing his seat last November, he’s spent thousands of dollars from his leadership PAC — called ‘What a Country!’ — on wine and high-end restaurants. … Now, Curbelo’s friend, JP Chavez, is his business partner in a communications and public affairs startup venture called Vocero LLC.”
“Trump is a singularly nasty and corrupt individual, but he also embodies something that has been clear about Republican politics for years: Advancing the conservative agenda any further—cutting taxes on the wealthy, slashing public services—requires more and more obfuscation, fewer and fewer voters, and increasingly naked white identity politics. … If Donald Trump didn’t exist, Republicans would have had to invent him. Or someone like him. The alternative would have been to moderate the conservative agenda in meaningful ways, and the party has been uncompromising in that regard.”
“The Republican Party’s Trumpization is complete. It’s not a conservative party, or a small government party or an anti-authoritarian party (to the contrary!). It has become the caricature of the left from days gone by — all power, no principle, dismissive of courtesy and reasoned persuasion. Anger, not ideas, is its animating force. We have a nativist party that views America not as a creedal nation, but as a white Christian nation that is diminished by immigrants and is threatened by outsiders. If it possesses any coherent philosophy, it is one of victimhood — which in turn justifies any and all bad behavior.”
Fox News host Sean Hannity “is linked to a group of shell companies that have spent $90 million buying hundreds of homes across the U.S through the help of foreclosures and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development,” the Guardian reports.
Newsweek: [Many] observers believe the swamp has grown into a sinkhole that threatens to swallow the entire Trump administration. The number of White House officials currently facing questions, lawsuits or investigation is astonishing…
Donald Trump has made it clear that he views campaign donations as bribes.
“As a businessman and a very substantial donor to very important people, when you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do,” Trump said in July 2015. “As a businessman, I need that.”
At a rally in Iowa in January, he put it even more plainly. “When I want something I get it,” Trump said. “When I call, they kiss my ass. It’s true.”
Now it is becoming clearer every day that Trump has given donations to at least two Republican state attorneys generals — Greg Abbott, who is now governor of Texas, and Pam Bondi of Florida — who then decided not to pursue fraud investigations into his Trump University get-rich scheme.
This scandal in which the Republican presidential nominee appears to have bribed state officials has largely been ignored by the Beltway media, who are instead fixated on Hillary Clinton’s ineptitude as a webmaster when she served as secretary of state.
But with new reports that Trump paid a $2,500 fine related to one of the donations, it appears unlikely that the “liberal media” can continue to ignore what could well be the biggest scandal of the 2016 campaign.
It is the most under-reported story of the summer, and the mystery is why. Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner, is well known to have had ties to notorious crime figures like Paul “Big Paul” Castellano, head of the Gambino crime family, Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, boss of the Genovese mob, and others of their ilk in New York City, Philadelphia and New Jersey.
Trump and Kim just can’t debate like adults.
They’ve flung epithets in the past, with varying results.
For a while they’ve been quiet,
But Kim’s just about had it —
Don’t call him “rocket man” or he’ll crank up the insults..
“The information did not meet our expectations, so we made it up, preying on the vulnerable and feeding the prejudices and fears of Jones’s audience. We ignored certain facts, fabricated others and took situations out of context to fit our narrative.”
— Josh Owens, a former staff member at Alex Jones’s far-right conspiracy site Infowars, admits in the New York Times to making up stories for the site about the threat of Shariah law within the United States.
“I don’t hate anybody. I was raised in a Catholic house, we don’t hate anybody — not anybody in the world. So don’t you accuse me of any hate. … As a Catholic I resent you using the word ‘hate.’ Don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that.”
— Speaker Nancy Pelosi lashed out at a Capitol Hill reporter who had questioned whether she “hated” President Trump following her decision to advance the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, The Hill reports.
“Of course I would. Look, Sen. Harris has the capacity to be anything she wants to be. I mean it sincerely. I talked to her yesterday. She’s solid, she can be president someday herself, she can be vice president, she could go on to be a Supreme Court justice, she could be attorney general. I mean she has enormous capability.”
— Joe Biden told CNN he would consider Sen. Kamala Harris as a potential running mate, a day after she dropped out of the presidential race.
Employers added 266,000 jobs in November and unemployment matched a 50-year low of 3.5%, signs the U.S. economy is withstanding a global slowdown, the Wall Street Journal reports. CNBC notes the numbers easily beat the Wall Street consensus.
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds Joe Biden leading the Democratic presidential field with 19%, followed by Bernie Sanders at 14%, Elizabeth Warren at 9%, Pete Buttigieg at 6% and Michael Bloomberg at 4%.
“The White House directed Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) to block an effort by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Thursday to pass a resolution via unanimous consent formally recognizing Turkey’s genocide of the Armenian people,” Axios reports. “This is the third time that the White House has directed a Republican senator to block the resolution, a symbolic measure already passed by the House that would infuriate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an.”
“President Trump has asked the Supreme Court to shield his financial records from the Democratic-led House Oversight and Reform Committee,” The Hill reports. “The case marks the second time Trump has appealed to the high court to prevent the disclosure of financial documents and sets the stage for a potentially groundbreaking ruling on the extent of congressional oversight authority and presidential power.”