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Are Trump Businesses in a Slump?

Ivanka Trump today announced she will close her clothing business. It was down to 18 employees. The boycotts of her clothes had a big effect. Other companies decided to stop carrying her line due to slumping sales.

The company, based in New York’s Trump Tower, had been dropped by retailers such as Nordstrom due to flagging sales. Its dresses, shoes and handbags — all of which were made in foreign countries such as China and Indonesia — also conflicted with her push for more jobs in the United States.

...“Views on the brand have become highly polarized, and it has become a lightning rod for protests and boycotts,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail. “While the company is still viable, doing business has become far more challenging and these problems will only increase.”

But it's not just Ivanka's business that seems to be in a slump. Remember Scion, the new hotel line Trump's sons were going to open (more affordable and planned for several mid-western cities)? Not a single one has been opened. [More...]

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Trump and Cohen Call: Rudy Says Trump Waives Privilege

There are several media articles the past few days about Michael Cohen having taped Donald Trump two months before the election when they were discussing a $150,000 payment to American Media (owner of the Enquirer) that would then go to Karen MacDougal for telling her story about having an affair with Trump. Unbeknownst to Macdougal, American Media had agreed not to publish it.

Ms. McDougal says she began a nearly yearlong affair with Mr. Trump in 2006, shortly after Mr. Trump’s wife, Melania, gave birth to their son Barron. Ms. McDougal sold her story for $150,000 to The National Enquirer, which was supportive of Mr. Trump, during the final months of the presidential campaign. But the tabloid sat on the story, which kept it from becoming public. The practice, known as “catch and kill,” effectively silenced Ms. McDougal for the remainder of the campaign.Because she'd be signing a non-disclosure agreement, she couldn't tell or sell her story elsewhere if American Media didn't publish it.

New York is a state that allows taping provided one participant to the conversation agrees. But Cohen is a lawyer, talking to Trump, his purported "client". Is there a privilege or ethics rule that comes into play here? [More...]

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Near Unanimity: Trump Flops in Helsinki

It's virtually unanimous: Donald Trump pooped on himself and the United States today at his big Helsinki summit. The adjectives for his pitiful performance are boundless, and coming from both sides.

The New York Times:

Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, called it “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”

The cover of tomorrow's NY Daily News shows Trump shooting Uncle Sam, with a caption "Open Treason".

Former CIA Director John Brennan:

Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???

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Trump: No Court, No Judge, Just Immediate Removal

Donald Trump continues his outlandish attempts to rip the fabric of our country's most cherished principles: Today it's due process.

According to Trump, we don't need no stinkin' trials, or judges.

“When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came,” he said.

Does he even know that the law provides for asylum and that asylum seekers enter the country lawfully?

“What President Trump has suggested here is both illegal and unconstitutional. Any official who has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws should disavow it unequivocally,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.

Trump says "Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order." What's next? Will he argue that migrants without proper papers should be shot at the border, so we don't have to pay to return them? I wouldn't be surprised.

It's not our system that's a mockery, it is Donald Trump that has made a mockery of America.

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Jared's Peace Deal Doesn't Include Abbas

I don't know how you make a peace deal in the Middle East without Israel and Palestine being on board. Jared is going to do it we're told, even without Abbas. He thinks his plan is so good he can just release it to the media and the Palestinian people will want to accept it, even if their leaders don't.

Sounds like he's going to offer the Palestinians some real or imaginary economic benefits in hopes that will get them so unified they demand their leaders accept the deal.

My thought: Trump must be expecting a very bad week with Mueller and thus wants to deflect attention from what's coming -- so he's bringing out Jared, dusting him off and announcing a one-sided peace deal.

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Immigrant Detainee at Federal Prison Diagnosed With Chicken Pox

The Bureau of Prisons has issued an alert. An immigrant detainee at FCI Victorville in California has been diagnosed with the very contagious chicken pox disease.

“Measures are being taken to identify and contain inmate contacts who are at risk for getting chickenpox,” the letter said. It was sent out midday Monday via email to over 800 prison staff members.

.... E-U Housing Unit is one of about 12 units in the medium security facility where ICE has contracted with the Bureau of prisons to house up to 1,000 adult male immigrant detainees.

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Trump's Misleading Executive Order on Family Separation

Beware the person who cannot accept accountability for his own missteps. Donald Trump today issued an executive order on separating parents and children at the border. He continues to blame Congress instead of his own Executive Orders for the mess his policies created. He even has the gall to name it "Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation."

It is unfortunate that Congress’s failure to act and court orders have put the Administration in the position of separating alien families to effectively enforce the law.

No one caused these separations but the Trump Administration itself. [More...]

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Airlines Refuse to Fly Separated Children Back to Home Countries

Four major airlines are saying no to Donald Trump's policy that separates migrant children from their parents at the border:

American, Frontier, Southwest and United airlines are refusing to fly immigrant children separated from their parents for the federal government, the latest resistance to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy for undocumented border crossings.

All four airlines said they had no evidence that they have transported children under the policy yet. But they each said the policy runs counter to their corporate goals of connecting people.

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4 Gov. Refuse To Send National Guard to Border

The Governors of four states have refused to send National Guard troops to the southwest border because of Trump's parent-child separation policy.

The states are Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. Let's hope the list grows.

Nationwide protests are being scheduled around the country for June 30.

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At the Border: Families Torn Apart

From Texas Monthly: "What's Really Happening at the Border" -- an interview with Anne Chandler, "executive director of the Houston office of the nonprofit Tahirih Justice Center, which focuses on helping immigrant women and children, she has been traveling to the border and to detention centers, listening to the parents’ stories." What they do:

We run the Children’s Border Project, and we work with hundreds of kids that have been released from ORR (Office of Refugee Resettlement) care. We are not a legal service provider that does work when they’re in the shelters. To date, most of our work with that issue of family separation has been working with the parents in the days when they are being separated: when they’re in the federal courthouse being convicted; partnering with the federal public defenders; and then in the adult detention center, as they have no idea how to communicate or speak to their children or get them back before being deported.

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Rudy on the Prowl: Women First, Joe Biden Next

While third wife Judith insists Ruy is a "cheating liar" due to his relationship with Maria Ryan, which Rudy denies existed or occurred after their separation, Rudy is not deterred. In fact, Maria Ryan is so last week.

This week Rudy is pursuing yet another romance, with Jennifer LeBlanc, a Louisiana Republican fundraiser and former financial chair of Rudy's 2008 campaign. She is a widow, her husband died in a plane crash. At the time of her death, she and her husband were under criminal investigation. Neither were charged.

LeBlanc was the Louisiana finance chair for Giuliani's 2008 presidential campaign. She is a partner at LeBlanc & Associates, where she and her partner provide fundraising and consulting advice to clients in the state as well as to some prominent Louisiana officeholders in D.C.

...LeBlanc inherited substantial business assets after the death of her husband, Pat LeBlanc, a Lafayette, Louisiana businessman. He died in a plane crash at 53 while under investigation for an alleged bribery scandal for a Leblanc company that provided concessions services to Texas prisons. They proclaimed their innocence and were never charged. (my emphasis)

Rudy, who I would bet hasn't seen the inside of a state court in decades, last month entered his appearance in an auto insurance fraud case in Ft. Lauderdale where the defendant is Maria Ryan's daughter, who he said is his personal assistant.[More...]

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Michael Cohen Denies Report He Expects Imminent Arrest

According to Vanity Fair, Michael Cohen is expecting to be arrested within days. Neither Cohen nor Trump filed objections to the Special Masters' Report as to which documents it agreed were protected by the attorney client privilege and should not be turned over to prosecutors. (No link due to autoplay video ad):

Trump allies view the legal cloud hanging over Trump’s former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, as at least as ominous as the obstruction investigation. According to a source close to Cohen, Cohen has told friends that he expects to be arrested any day now. (Reached for comment, Cohen wrote in a text message, “Your alleged source is wrong!”) The specter of Cohen flipping has Trump advisers on edge. “Trump should be super worried about Michael Cohen,” a former White House official said. “If anyone can blow up Trump, it’s him.”

Cohen responded that VF's source was wrong.

CNBC has this summary with additional sources and a copy of the Special Master's Report.

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Trump Blames Jeff Sessions... Again

Donald Trump today blamed Jeff Sessions (yet again) for the Russia "witch hunt, writing on his Twitter account:

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!

Trump is becoming predictable in his attempts to steer the headlines away from the alleged ongoing malfeasance of so many people connected to him. Paul Manafort is now accused of witness tampering while on bail for which the government is seeking to modify or revoke his release order. A hearing will be held next week. [More...]

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Trump Claims He Has Authority to Pardon Himself

The Trump and Giuliani show continues. Donald Trump today said he absolutely has the right to pardon himself, but he has no reason to do so because he has done nothing wrong.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)responded on Twitter, disagreeing and citing an Office of Legal Counsel memo written four days before Nixon resigned. He quotes from the memo:

“Under the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case, the President cannot pardon himself,”

His tweet continues:

I know you have attention span problems, but it’s the first sentence: [Memo link]

The memo further explains:[More...]

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Celebrity Pardon Store Now Open

Donald Trump pardoned Dinesh D’Souza. The New York Times editorial board asks, Really? (I asked, who? I've never heard of him.) The Times explains:

On Thursday, Mr. Trump pardoned Dinesh D’Souza, the right-wing troll known for, among other things, posting racist tweets about President Barack Obama, spreading the lie that George Soros was a Nazi collaborator and writing that “the American slave was treated like property, which is to say, pretty well.”

Today Trump said Martha Stewart and Rod Blagojevich may be next. Yesterday, he took a celebrity photo at the White House with Kim Kardashian who was there to advise him on "prison reform". She learned of a single case of a 91 year old serving a long drug sentence via Twitter of all places, and now she's invited to the White House to opine? Does she really believe that Donald Trump, who is so anti-offender than he fired her sister Khloe Kardashian from the Apprentice because of a DUI (watch the video) gives a sh*t about any offender who isn't related to him? I certainly don't. [More...]

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