“It’s time to drop the posture that Trump’s defenders can be shamed into accepting what has been unearthed, or that they can be shamed into arguing from a baseline of shared democratic values, or into arguing over how to interpret a comprehensive set of shared facts. … Instead, let’s rhetorically treat Trump’s defenders as his criminal accomplices. Not just as ‘enablers’ of Trump’s corruption but as active participants in it.”
$69K to $19M
Politico: “Between 2012 and 2014, campaigns and political groups spent a combined $69,000 at Trump businesses… But since June 2015, when Trump announced he was running for the White House, political spending at the president’s properties has topped $19 million.”
“A company in which President Trump’s brother has a financial stake received a $33 million contract from the U.S. Marshals Service earlier this year, an award that has drawn protests from two other bidders, one of which has filed a complaint alleging possible favoritism in the bidding process,” the Washington Post reports.
New York Times columnist David Leonhardt lays out the case of Donald Trump versus the United States of America in 40 sentences.
“The House should seriously consider shifting the focus from the Mueller report and Trump’s attempts to short circuit the Russia investigation to the overarching issue of this presidency: His unparalleled corruption. The Mueller report will come into play, but as an example of a particular form of corruption. This is easy to understand and undermines the entire premise of Trump’s outsider campaign by focusing on how he uses the presidency to enrich himself and serve his personal needs. … The enrichment schemes multiply and become more nauseating by the day.”
In an interview on MSNBC, investigative journalist Craig Unger, author of the new book, House of Putin, House of Trump, described how Donald Trump first gained access to Russian mob money, starting with New York real-estate transactions in the 1980s:
I go back nearly 40 years, and I see essentially the greatest intelligence operation of our times. It started off in 1984 with a man who has ties to the Russian mafia, and he meets with Donald Trump in the Trump Tower, the supreme moment of Donald Trump becoming a master of real estate in the United States — and what we end up seeing is Trump Tower become sort of a cathedral of money laundering.
Rep. Eric Swalwell accuses President Trump of trying to save Chinese company ZTE in order to benefit himself and his companies: "It does seem like the simplest explanation is the correct one — it's money" https://t.co/7PEl5DxyrH pic.twitter.com/SvnOVQh1QQ
— New Day (@NewDay) May 15, 2018
According to a report in the National Review, just 72 hours after Donald Trump ordered his government to reverse sanctions on Chinese telecom giant ZTE, the Chinese government announced it would lend half a billion dollars to a Trump-related project in Indonesia.
The Chinese government is extending a $500 million loan to a state-owned construction company to build an Indonesian theme park that will feature a Trump-branded golf course and hotels…
While the $500 million loan will not be directly allocated to any of the Trump-branded features, Beijing’s contribution of half the project’s total operating budget ensures the success of the broader theme-park venture.
Over the weekend, Trump tweeted out the news that he had ordered the Commerce Department to lift severe sanctions on ZTE because, he said, “Too many jobs in China lost.”
Just last month the Trump administration had accused ZTE of espionage and of doing business with Iran and North Korea.
Trump’s reversal even shocked a Republican.
Steve Schmidt: “There is blood on Trump’s hands.”