Sunday, April 22, 2018


"James Comey illegally leaked classified documents to the press in order to generate a Special Council? Therefore, the Special Council was established based on an illegal act? Really, does everybody know what that means?"
"The New York Times and a third rate reporter named Maggie Haberman, known as a Crooked H flunkie who I don’t speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will “flip.” They use non-existent “sources” and a drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael, a fine person with a wonderful family. Michael is a businessman for his own account/lawyer who I have always liked & respected. Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if it means lying or making up stories. Sorry, I don’t see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!"

[NB: This is the kind of thing that must drive his lawyers crazy. So, Michael Cohen is a "fine person" who won't ever flip against me -- which assumes that he knows something to flip about. How much easier to say, Cohen is totally innocent and has nothing to say against me. But that isn't what Trump said. Really, does everybody know what that means?]

He lies. He lies about big things. He lies about little things. He lies about important things. He lies about trivial things. He lies about things that are easily disproven by obvious evidence
"The New York Times and a third rate reporter named Maggie Haberman, known as a Crooked H flunkie who I don’t speak to and have nothing to do with . . . "

Trump spoke with Haberman at least four times last year, on March 26, April 5, July 19, and November 1. Maybe more!   . . .
Also, it's an open secret that one of Maggie "Trump whisperer" Haberman's primary anonymous White House sources is .... Donald Trump. . .

[Trump] The Washington Post said I refer to Jeff Sessions as “Mr. Magoo” and Rod Rosenstein as “Mr. Peepers.” This is “according to people with whom the president has spoken.” There are no such people and don’t know these characters...just more Fake & Disgusting News to create ill will!
[Maggie Haberman] They’re both true.

One question: WHY????
Trump says he's 'considering' a pardon for boxer Jack Johnson

In other news . . .

Trump's Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy is “not a policy guy”

The Cesspool
Pro-Trump groups spending big at Trump properties

Let's see. The lobbyist who rented a condo to Scott Pruitt in a skeezy sweetheart deal is out of a job for doing it -- but Pruitt, who rented it, is not?

“The prominent lobbyist whose wife rented a condominium to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt lobbied the agency while Pruitt was leading it, contrary to his and Pruitt’s public denials that he had any business before the agency, according to a Friday filing by his firm.”

And more:
according to a new report in the New York Times on Saturday, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator allegedly bought a house from a retiring lobbyist—via a Shell company listed to business partner, Kenneth Wagner, who is now employed at the agency. The real estate records, and other public records, examined in today’s New York Times’ report are from Pruitt’s career in Oklahoma. . . 

Another federal agency that Trump has made dysfunctional

[NB: Labor, education, housing, consumer protection, the environment . . . see a pattern?]

Is the DNC lawsuit against Trump a good idea?

What Newt Gingrich said when Obama skipped the funeral of Nancy Reagan

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL ( with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Saturday, April 21, 2018


The GOP wanted their hands on the "classified" Comey memos, and wanted them released. Boy, did that backfire
Here's why the Comey memos hurt Trump more than help him
First, if you’re feeling déjà vu right about now, you’re not alone – because this feels very much like the debacle surrounding the so-called “Nunes memo” all over again. In that case, House Republicans fought with the Justice Department, ignored every warning, and released sensitive information to the public in the hopes of undermining the investigation into the Russia scandal. Trump, in a perpetual state of confusion, immediately claimed vindication. In reality, of course, the gambit failed spectacularly. Every key argument the president and his allies hoped to advance fell apart, and after weeks of over-the-top hype, Republicans actually found themselves worse off than they were before the sensitive materials were released to the public. [read on]
One feature of the truth is that it doesn’t change much. A lie is hard to sustain. The details may change in each retelling because the liar is not actually remembering the events, but instead remembering the telling of the events. The truth, by contrast, is sticky. Consistency is not the only hallmark of truth—some people’s memories are better than other people’s memories, to be sure—but there’s a reason that inconsistency tends to discredit a witness. . . .[read on]
More importantly, the main story still remains the dog that didn't bark. In seven interactions, faced with the intelligence that the Russians meddled in the election to help Trump, he never once asked Comey how we could fight back. . . . He wanted to talk to Comey about the golden shower allegations. . . .

The memos show that Trump lied to Comey repeatedly about his trip to Moscow

[NB: Why lie about whether he stayed overnight in Moscow . . . one might ask.] 

Trump has repeatedly assailed Comey as a leaker and liar. The memos only offer Comey’s side of the story, so there’s no way to firmly adjudicate the latter claim based on the documents alone. As for the former, Trump comes across as not just amenable to but encouraging of leaks. . . . The memos themselves, meanwhile, don’t really seem to support claims of leaking classified information; they back up what Comey has said elsewhere; and they aren’t especially flattering for the president. 

I don't say this very often, but good for Jeff Sessions
Sessions Warned He Would Quit If Rosenstein Fired  


Did you hear an explosion?
DNC sues Trump campaign, alleges conspiracy with Russia to disrupt 2016 election


Here's what adding Giuliani to the Trump legal team tells us: the point is not to defend against the investigation -- the point is, again, as always, to STOP the investigation

Remember that Giuliani was in contact with, and encouraging, the rogue elements in the FBI NY field office who were threatening to leak damaging information about Hillary Clinton, forcing Comey's hand to go public
On October 26, Rudolph Giuliani appeared on Fox News and said, “We got a couple things up our sleeve that should turn this around. Even the liberal pollsters will get to see.” When pressed about what these surprises would be, Giuliani broke into a smile and said, “You’ll see. Ha ha ha.”

Two days later, on October 28, just 11 days before the election, Comey sent his letter to Congress saying that “in connection with an unrelated case, the F.B.I. has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” of Clinton. . . 

The Daily Beast reported on Thursday on ties between Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor, and the FBI’s New York field office, which reportedly pressed the FBI to revisit the Clinton server investigation after beginning an inquiry into Weiner’s alleged sexual texting with a minor. The website reported that a former New York field office chief, highly critical of the non-indictment, runs a military charity that has received significant financial donations from Trump. . . .
The former New York City mayor and federal prosecutor may be a witness in the Russia probe, and has other entanglements that could complicate his new role.  

Trump has no sense of boundaries; he thinks all the branches of government work for him, and at his direction
Trump pressed Sessions to fire 2 FBI officials who sent anti-Trump text messages. Trump also asked Attorney General Sessions and FBI Director Wray to find derogatory information on the officials, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. . . .
Trump was frustrated by Gorsuch’s recent vote against the administration on an immigration case, which reportedly pushed him to question whether Gorsuch was going to be a reliable conservative voter on the high court. . . .

In other news. . .  

Trump treated Michael Cohen like crap -- which is an issue now that he needs to keep him from flipping


Trump wants journalists jailed. Because of course . . . 

“Keith Davidson, the former attorney for two women who were paid to keep quiet about their alleged affairs with Donald Trump, has been contacted by federal authorities investigating Trump attorney Michael Cohen and is cooperating with them,” the Washington Post reports. “Shortly before the 2016 election, Davidson negotiated a confidentiality agreement with Cohen under which porn star Stormy Daniels was paid $130,000.” “Davidson also represented Karen McDougal, a Playboy centerfold, in the $150,000 agreement she struck in August 2016 with the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc., for the rights to her story.” 

This is a very revealing story. Because Trump has impugned and insulted the Bushes at every opportunity, he now can't attend Barbara Bush's funeral, which would have been a no-brainer for a president who was really about bringing dignity and reconciliation to the office

Trump shuns Democrats and media at first state dinner

Mike Pompeo won't be supported for Sect'y of State by the GOP-controlled Senate Foreign Relations Committee  

Here's how desperate Trump was to get listed as a billionaire on the Forbes 400

On top of all their other disadvantages going into the fall campaigns, the Republicans can't get out of their own way

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL ( with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Friday, April 20, 2018


The Republicans have gone from "oh no, Trump is actually president" to "well, he's the president, so we have to deal with him" to "hey, it might be useful to our agenda to support him" to, now, "we are going to fight to defend him even in the midst of scandal."

Shame on them

Ted Cruz Loses Last Scrap of Dignity, Writes Time Tribute to His Bully, Donald Trump
Marco Rubio flip flops on NASA nominee out of ‘deference to the president’
“The organizing principle of Mr Trump’s Republican Party is loyalty. Not, as with the best presidents, loyalty to an ideal, a vision or a legislative program, but to just one man—Donald J. Trump—and to the prejudice and rage which consume the voter base that, on occasion, even he struggles to control. In America that is unprecedented and it is dangerous.”

This quote, if true, is damning
“Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told President Trump last week that he isn’t a target of any part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation,” Bloomberg reports. “Rosenstein, who brought up the Mueller probe himself, offered the assurance during a meeting with Trump at the White House last Thursday…After the meeting, Trump told some of his closest advisers that it’s not the right time to remove either man since he’s not a target of the probe.

[NB: You see it, don't you? The clear implication is that if he WERE a target things would be different. That's about as clear as you can make it.

By the way, since Mueller has been pretty clear that he isn't going to -- and arguably can't -- indict a sitting president, "not a target" doesn't mean very much. This report is going to have plenty of evidence of Trump's misconduct. Plenty.]

How many rejections did Trump get before settling on Rudy Giuliani as his new lawyer?

As for Giuliani, the choice is peculiar. Trump has shown a penchant, especially lately, for hiring people more for their ability to advocate for him on television than for their experience. Unlike some of the other attorneys who have circulated through Trump’s team or been rumored as possible additions, Giuliani has legitimate criminal-law experience, most prominently as a U.S. Attorney. But he left that job in 1989 to run for mayor. Over the years since, he has practiced law, but most often has served as a consultant or an executive, not as a litigator. These days he is most often known for his outspoken and sometimes outlandish opinions. He is also awkwardly tied to the Russia investigation. . . .
[read on]
On Thursday, former New York mayor and Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani told the Washington Post that he will join President Trump’s legal team for the Mueller investigation: “I’m doing it because I hope we can negotiate an end to this for the good of the country” . . . .
Giuliani wants to “quickly” resolve the investigation. He wants to “speed it up.” And he wants to “negotiate an end” to it. In other words, he’s less a lawyer than he is an ambassador to Robert Mueller. And apparently he thinks he can wrap things up in just a few weeks. . . .
He worked with Mueller at DOJ & as NYC Mayor (Mueller at FBI) He hopes knowing Mueller can help bring the investigation to conclusion, saying it "needs a little push." How soon? "maybe a couple of weeks" . . .

[NB: I hope Rudy has promised Trump that he can negotiate an end to the Mueller investigation "in a couple of weeks." I can't wait to see the tweets when that turns out to be nowhere near true.]

Giuliani to replace Sessions?

[NB: No way he would get confirmed.]

Pardon me?
Can Trump pardon his way out of the Mueller probe? This law professor says no.


What all the speculation about Michael Cohen flipping -- even from Trump's closest associates -- tells us
ll this talk about Cohen potentially flipping on Trump assumes up front that the president has done things that could put him in severe legal jeopardy. At this point, no one seems to be making much effort to deny that. . . [read on]

Michael Cohen settles a lawsuit
Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has abruptly dropped a defamation lawsuit he filed against BuzzFeed for publishing an unverified intelligence dossier put together by former British spy Christopher Steele . . . The timing of Cohen’s move to drop the lawsuit is interesting, for at least a couple reasons. First, it comes the week after FBI agents acting on a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller raided Cohen’s home, office, and hotel room. Cohen’s decision to drop the lawsuit suggests agents may have seized evidence that will make it hard to him to maintain that the dossier is “fake” and a “lie filled document,” as he claimed on Twitter when he announced the “defamation action” in January. Second, Cohen’s move to drop the lawsuit comes less than a week after McClatchy reported that Mueller possesses evidence that Cohen “secretly made a late-summer trip to Prague during the 2016 presidential campaign” — a claim that, if true, would verify an explosive claim in the dossier . . .

And another settlement
Karen McDougal, the former Playboy Playmate who says she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006 and 2007, has scored a dramatic and abrupt legal victory over AMI, the parent company of the National Enquirer, which purchased exclusive rights to the story of her affair with Trump and then buried it. The news suggests that circumstances of McDougal’s contract were unseemly and possibly illegal — and the company was eager to find a way out of the morass. . . . McDougal alleges that she was pressured into signing the agreement, that she was never given the opportunity to write the columns she was promised, and that her lawyer at the time, Keith Davidson, was secretly colluding with Michael Cohen, the personal lawyer and “fixer” for the president.  McDougal sued on March 20, asking a court to nullify the contract. Up until a few days ago, AMI seemed prepared to fight the lawsuit. On April 2, AMI’s lawyers filed a lengthy motion with the court to dismiss the case. But then, on April 9, Michael Cohen’s home and office were raided by the FBI. . . . Appearing on Rachel Maddow’s show last night, McDougal’s current attorney, Peter Stris, said that Davidson and Cohen were “working together to pursue a legal fraud.” . . Stris said that he believed Cohen and Davidson had perpetrated this fraud in other cases as well. Cohen and Davidson, remarkably, seem to end up involved in every sex scandal involving Trump. . . . Communications between Cohen and Davidson were reportedly part of information targeted by the FBI raid on Cohen’s homes and office.

Late yesterday we learned that House GOPers had succeeded in forcing the DOJ to turn over the Comey memos

Before the day was out, the AP had them. Here they are


Why the GOP leaked them

Trump claims the memos that totally incriminate him totally vindicate him

[NB: Wait, I thought he said the memos were "self serving and fake"?] 

One thing these memos show is that Trump was absolutely obsessed with Andrew McCabe. We know the relentless bullying and insults Trump has thrown his way. Now the other shoe drops: the Inspector General recommends prosecution for . . . "a lack of candor." Really. They've already fired him, hours before his retirement, stripped his pension, and now a recommended prosecution for the thinnest of excuses

Trump gloats over the McCabe recommendations (of course) -- even though it is doubtful that McCabe will ever actually be charged

[NB: We have gotten so inured to this that we forget how totally wrong and unseemly it is for a president to be pronouncing on who should and shouldn't be charged with crimes.]

Was Manafort the guy?
Manafort Suspected of Being ‘Back Channel’ to Russia 


In other news . . . 

The rest of the world is figuring out what we already know: Trump is an ignorant buffoon and most of the words out of his mouth don't mean anything
The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank published a related list this morning of “some of what we have learned lately from the Trump administration.”
  • We are imposing new sanctions on Russia. We are not imposing new sanctions on Russia.
  • China isn’t manipulating its currency. China is manipulating its currency.
  • We’re getting out of Syria. We aren’t getting out of Syria.
  • We’ll decide about bombing Syria in 24 to 48 hours. We might not bomb Syria for a long time. We bombed Syria.
  • The bombing of Syria will be sustained. The Syria bombing was a one-time shot.
  • Trump will be talking to Kim Jong Un. Trump may not be talking to Kim.
  • Trump fired James B. Comey because of the Russia investigation. Trump did not fire Comey because of the Russia investigation. [read on]
They still haven't fixed the power grid for Puerto Rico

"Mission accomplished"?
Missile Strikes Are Unlikely to Stop Syria’s Chemical Attacks, Pentagon Says

Don't know much about history. . .
Ignoring slavery, Trump says human trafficking has reached all-time high

Another Trump policy loses in court
Court Rules Against Trump Policy To Withhold Grants From Sanctuary Cities

Trump's judges
Trump Judicial Nominee Appears to Have Called Undocumented Immigrants “Maggots”
Trump-appointed judge uses his very first opinion to showcase his political hackery
Trump's worst judicial pick yet appears to favor school segregation and thinks birth control kills

Our sick society 
Poll: most US teens are worried that a shooting could happen at their school

The Senate narrowly confirms a totally unqualified head of NASA because he's a . . . . "war hero"

A Senate that has taken long breaks and done little actual legislating may now stay in session just to keep red-state Dems from being able to go home to campaign

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL ( with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***