Trump, Russian Connections, Falsehoods and an Empty Gin Bottle

Spicer can try all he wants to distance Trump from Paul Manafort, but until Donald Trump removes his campaign website, his past announcements about Manafort are there for all to see. Spicy yesterday:

Spicer on Monday described the former campaign chairman as someone “who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time.” He also said Manafort was hired in June, even though he was brought on board in March.
As Foreign Policy reports, ..."White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon led the Trump campaign for 83 days, compared to Manafort’s 144 days"

Factcheck from Trump's campaign website: Trump announces Manafort joining team, 3/29/16 [More...]

Currently, Mr. Manafort is an attorney and founding partner of DMP International, LLC where he has been active in business and international affairs for the last 20 years. Previously, he was a partner at BMS&K for 15 years and worked on dozens of international political campaigns in an effort to bring democratic expertise to foreign countries. He served as a director of OPIC following his appointment by President Reagan, and was on the Investment Policy Advisory Committee at the Office of the US Trade Representative.

Mr. Trump stated, “Paul is a great asset and an important addition as we consolidate the tremendous support we have received in the primaries and caucuses, garnering millions more votes than any other candidate. Paul Manafort, and the team I am building, bring the needed skill sets to ensure that the will of the Republican voters, not the Washington political establishment, determines who will be the nominee for the Republican Party.

Trump Announces Major Campaign Hires, 8/17/16

...Kellyanne Conway, ...has been promoted to Campaign Manager. Paul Manafort will remain as Campaign Chairman and Chief Strategist.

As an aside, how desperate was Trump for a new campaign manager in August, 2016 that he settled on Ms. Most Unimportant Person in the World?

Trump first announced her hiring on July 1, 2016, as a advisor to Paul Manafort.

Kellyanne will serve as senior advisor to the campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and a member of the national polling team being led by Tony Fabrizio.
On July 16, she moved up to an "advisor" to the campaign, primarily assigned to Pence. In announcing six such advisers, Trump wrote:
These Advisors will be tasked with o organizing the day to day operations for Governor Pence, and interacting with the existing Trump Campaign team

A month later, on August 17, as Manafort had one foot out the door (or was already out, according to Ms. C. who has said Trump offered her the campaign manager job on August 12 in a private conversation), he promoted her to campaign manager but insisted Manafort would stay on.

..... Kellyanne Conway.... has been promoted to Campaign Manager. Paul Manafort will remain as Campaign Chairman and Chief Strategist.

....Ms. Conway... will work on messaging and travel frequently with Mr. Trump, while working closely with Mr. Bannon and Mr. Manafort on all aspects of the campaign moving forward. (my emphasis)

In six weeks, she went from hired as an advisor to Manafort to Trump's campaign manager. Why? Did no one else want the job? Until July, she was supporting and financially contributing to Ted Cruz' campaign. (So was her husband, although he "thanked" Trump for hiring his wife with his first Trump donation on July 18.)

Two days later, on August 19, Manafort was officially out. (How embarrassing for the campaign which had maintained two days earlier he was staying. One hand surely didn't know what the other was doing.)

Reports at the time said Jared Kushner had a lot to do with Manafort's ouster.

In recent days, Manafort had lost the confidence of Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and one of his closest advisers, and other members of Trump’s family, according to a source close to the campaign. Kushner had once been a major backer of Manafort and was instrumental in his elevation — and the downfall of Corey Lewandowski, Trump's former campaign manager.
Here's the AP report on Manafort's Russian ties. Here's Mother Jones on Manafort and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. (Interestingly, in 2009, Putin takes Derispaska to task publicly embarrassing him (he's almost bankrupted but later recovers.)

In March, 2014, longtime Trump former advisor and former Manafort business partner Roger Stone (also said to have been under investigation for Russia ties which he denies having) had questions for Manafort and then Ukranian presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych (later elected, overthrown and now wanted in the Ukraine on corruption charges).

On Monday, as Russian gunships menaced the Ukrainian fleet in the Black Sea, Manafort’s former business partner Roger Stone sent out an email to a small group of friends asking wryly: “Where is Paul Manafort?”

A multiple-choice list of options followed, including: “Was seen chauffeuring Yanukovych around Moscow,” and “Was seen loading gold bullion on an Army Transport plane from a remote airstrip outside Kiev and taking off seconds before a mob arrived at the site.” The final option was: “Is playing Golf in Palm Beach.”

The New Yorker in October, 2016 on Manafort and Conway:
In March, Trump hired Paul Manafort, a Republican lobbyist who was a partner in the firm Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly. His job was to make sure that Republican delegates would not be able to stage a coup against Trump at the Convention. The end for Lewandowski came when Manafort and Kushner allied against him. “When Manafort was brought on, Corey and Manafort basically went head to head,” the Trump campaign official said. “Jared, the son-in-law, who is a snaky little motherf**ker, a horrible human being, hated Corey, so Jared sided with Paul to get rid of Corey.”

Manafort became the campaign chairman in May, and took full control when, a month later, Lewandowski was fired. But Manafort turned out to be too blunt to get Trump to do his bidding. “You have to know how to influence Trump’s thinking, and that takes a mix of diplomacy and psychiatry,” the Trump adviser told me. Manafort, he claimed, had “no chemistry with Donald.....”

By early August, Manafort was further weakened, by scandals related to political work that he had done in Ukraine. After the Times reported that he might have received millions of dollars in cash payments from a party aligned with Vladimir Putin, there was open speculation about how long he could keep his job. “When the Ukraine stuff comes to pass, Jared now is holding the axe over Paul’s head,” the campaign official said. The Trump adviser added, “The real campaign manager, in fact, the entire time, has been Jared Kushner, who is still the real campaign manager, even today.”

...In August, the Mercers recommended that Trump bring in Bannon to lead a reorganized effort. “I’ve never run a campaign,” Bannon told Trump. “I’d only do this if Kellyanne came in as my partner.” Conway said that Trump offered her the job of campaign manager on August 12th, in a private meeting in his office.

On Manafort's partner as her mentor:

Conway found mentors in political fixers such as Charlie Black, a partner in Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly. To Conway, the firm’s principals, who worked for Reagan and George H. W. Bush, “were the untouchables. They were the gold standard of lobbying, Capitol Hill access.” Early in her career, Conway was invited to Black, Manafort, Stone’s Christmas party, and, she said, “it was, like, ‘What am I gonna wear?’ It was like Cinderella.”

Something else I learned from the New Yorker article - How Ms. Most Unimportant Person in the World met Trump: She and her husband lived at Trump Tower for several years, before moving to their $6 million home in Alpine, NJ.

In 2001, the Conways bought an apartment in Trump World Tower, near the United Nations, where they lived for seven years, and where she got to know Trump. “I sat on the condo board, and he’s very involved in his condos,” she said. ....In 2008, the Conways moved to a six-million-dollar home in Alpine, New Jersey, a town that Forbes has called “America’s most expensive Zip Code.”
Coincidentally, Conway's husband George represented Hewlett-Packard when it was the subject of a civil RICO (racketeering) complaint in the Northern District of California concerning bribery of Russian officials. The Plaintiffs were Petróleos Mexicanos (“Petróleos Mexicanos”) and Pemex Exploración y Producción (“PEP”). Here's one of his briefs in the case, urging dismissal. This is not to suggest he did anything wrong in representing HP, just that he is familiar with allegations of bribery and corruption between Russian officials and U.S. companies. He's worth mentioning because Trump is about to name him as head of DOJ's civil division and he clearly has experience defending against civil allegations of improper conduct with Russia (and Poland and Mexico.)

Here's the SEC cease and desist order, with HP's offer of settlement in anticipation of the institution of legal proceedings, in which it acknowledged HP overseas entities had bribed Russian officials. The order describes what HP did wrong with Russia and Poland and Mexico. DOJ also explained what happened in this press release issued when HP Russia pleaded guilty to criminal charges under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and was given a big fine. (HP Poland and HP Mexico entered non-prosecution agreements.)

"Hewlett-Packard subsidiaries, co-conspirators or intermediaries created a slush fund for bribe payments, set up an intricate web of shell companies and bank accounts to launder money, employed two sets of books to track bribe recipients, and used anonymous email accounts and prepaid mobile telephones to arrange covert meetings to hand over bags of cash," said Justice Department Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bruce Swartz in a statement."

According to the plea agreement, HP Russia executives created a multimillion dollar secret slush fund, at least part of which was used to bribe Russian government officials who awarded the company a contract valued at more than € 35 million.

At the conclusion of the plea proceeding, the court sentenced HP Russia to pay a $58,772,250 fine.

...“In a brazen violation of the FCPA, Hewlett Packard’s Russia subsidiary used millions of dollars in bribes from a secret slush fund to secure a lucrative government contract,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Miller. “Even more troubling was that the government contract up for sale was with Russia’s top prosecutor’s office. Tech companies, like all companies, must compete on a level playing field, not resort to secret books and sham transactions to hide millions of dollars in bribes. The Criminal Division has been at the forefront of this fight because when corruption takes hold overseas, American companies and the rule of law are harmed. Today’s conviction and sentencing are important steps in our ongoing efforts to hold accountable those who corrupt the international marketplace.”

Carly Fiorina was CEO of HP during some of the time period of the Russian bribery scheme. She was forced out of Hewlett Packard in 2005 and received a $21 million severance payment.She denied knowing anything about this. Both Conways were big supporters of Ted Cruz, who nominated Fiorina as his VP candidate.

There's also Trump legal counsel Michael Cohen who has ties to the Ukraine. From the UK Independent:

Mr Cohen is understood to have an extensive network of personal and business relationships in the Ukranian-American community – and his associates included Mr Oronov, a partner in the ethanol business the lawyer’s brother, Bryan, set up in Ukraine.

The “peace plan” meeting brought together Mr Artemenko, Mr Cohen and Felix Sater, an American-Russian long-time business associate of Mr Trump who is reported to have ties to the Russian mafia.

Details of this meeting are believed to have ended up on the desk of Michael Flynn, Mr Trump’s former security adviser who was forced to resign last month over his alleged secret dealings with Russian officials.

The New York Times had more.

Mr. Cohen, 50, lives two blocks up the street, in Trump Park Avenue. A lawyer who joined the Trump Organization in 2007 as special counsel, he has worked on many deals, including a Trump-branded tower in the republic of Georgia and a short-lived mixed martial arts venture starring a Russian fighter. He is considered a loyal lieutenant whom Mr. Trump trusts to fix difficult problems.

...He is married to a Ukrainian woman and once worked with relatives there to establish an ethanol business.

Here's the Moscow Times on Manafort and the Ukrainians. Here's the Washington Post (reprinted in The Star.)

I'm not even bothering with Michael Flynn, who in my view, is the poster boy for Donald Trump's bad judgment.

The more connections between Trump campaign officials and Russia the worse it will get for Trump. Remember in July, 2016 when he announced the formation of the Lying Crooked Hillary Website? I hope someone does the same for him and it all comes back to bite him in his as*, just like in the poem about the snake he liked to read on the campaign trail.

The Wall St Journal in an editorial today compared his falsehoods to those of an alcoholic, and said "Trump’s falsehoods are eroding public trust, at home and abroad." The editorial talked about the damage he is doing to his administration "with his seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods." It said he sticks to false assertions (like his wiretapping claim) "like a drunk to his empty gin bottle."

Two months into his [term], Gallup has Mr Trump’s approval rating at 39 per cent. No doubt Mr Trump considers that fake news, but if he doesn’t show more respect for the truth most Americans may conclude he’s a fake President.

In my view, most Americans with an ounce of common sense concluded that on November 8.

Maybe someone will also create a website for stupid things Trump's children say. Today's entry: Donald Trump, Jr. botches quote by the Mayor of London.

< Wednesday Open Thread | Trump Threatens GOP on Health Care Bill >
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    it sure does make (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 23, 2017 at 08:58:13 PM EST
    the continuing, today, dissappearance of those inconvenient to Putin a little more creepy.  and vice versa.

    I was wondering today if Manafort (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 23, 2017 at 10:49:18 PM EST
    Isn't feeling a little panicked. Putin has really been tying up loose ends of late. If this Trump investigation gets much more vigorous I wonder what Manafort's expiration date becomes?

    Notice to all the people who pushed the idea (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 11:47:29 AM EST
    of a Clinton death list: this is what it really looks like.

    There are going (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 23, 2017 at 09:06:46 PM EST
    to be a lot of people whose names are going to be written into this story who were pushed out of buildings, shot and poisoned for sure.

    maybe more than just their names (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 23, 2017 at 09:13:54 PM EST
    the guy who took a header off a balcony is still alive.

    I hope he's in a safe (none / 0) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 23, 2017 at 09:22:59 PM EST
    place guarded and law enforcement is able to get his story.

    Great summary, will reread later. (none / 0) (#5)
    by Green26 on Thu Mar 23, 2017 at 09:24:08 PM EST
    However, substantively, I don't think Manafort is big negative for Trump, other than the significant bad and continuing publicity.

    For those who disagree, please explain why.

    My very uneducated reaction is: Manafort was an advisor during the campaign. Important. Apparently unpaid. Even if he has legal or other issues, how does that impact Trump. Trump presumably didn't know.

    If Manafort was funneling illegal Russian contributions into the campaign or something like that, then my view changes. But in the end, what did Trump know.

    By the way, and "bragging" again, I know a lot about illegal, or supposedly illegal, campaign contributions--as well as what independent counsels think of them.

    Your alternative facts (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Towanda on Thu Mar 23, 2017 at 10:05:16 PM EST
    are funny.

    Manafort only an advisor?

    Manafort was the campaign manager.


    Did you see reports (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 23, 2017 at 10:52:24 PM EST
    Of Manafort's daughter's hacked texts? Ukraine is calling for investigations into Manafort since her hacked texts have emerged.

    Yes, so what (none / 0) (#9)
    by Green26 on Thu Mar 23, 2017 at 10:35:09 PM EST
    Feel free to tell us why this would be a big substantive problem for Trump. Happy to hear what you have to say.

    You don't think that a US presidential campaign (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 23, 2017 at 10:57:47 PM EST
    Manager who behind the scenes took part in convincing protesters in Ukraine to show up for a protest so they could be mowed down and killed, in order to stir global reaction and politics, is a concern?

    If Manafort has an unfortunate accident in the next 14 days would you be concerned then?


    Unpaid? And you BELIEVED that? (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Repack Rider on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 11:44:18 AM EST
    My very uneducated reaction is: Manafort was an advisor during the campaign. Important. Apparently unpaid.

    Unpaid by TR*MP.  Not "unpaid."  He was getting paid millions by a Russian oligarch for a contract that called for him to, among other things, INFLUENCE U.S. POLITICS.

    No wonder he didn't need chump change from a relatively poor man like Tr*mp.  He was getting millions for his efforts anyway.

    Once again I am reminded of Neil Bush doing "big business" in Taiwan. Women he had never met showed up at his hotel room and had sex with him.  Because they didn't ask HIM for money, he figured that they couldn't possibly be prostitutes, he was just that attractive. Tr*mp has the same kind of ego.


    the term Treason (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 23, 2017 at 09:58:03 PM EST
    is starting to pop up.

    oh, and the US SoS is going to skip the NATO summit and visit Russia instead.

    But, but none dare call it (none / 0) (#8)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 23, 2017 at 10:35:01 PM EST
    Maybe the adjectival "treasonous" (none / 0) (#18)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 06:22:43 AM EST
    is the word we're looking for in this situation.

    As opposed to the noun/concept "treason", that Leland Stanford might be inspired to exhaustively disect and interpret, as if his, Nunes's, and Trump's lives depended on it.


    that title (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 06:35:15 AM EST
    none dare call it treason...

    seems almost quaint in the age of Trump, no?

    if he has a legacy it will include creating an evrironment where there is pretty much nothing that none dare call anything.


    We may have to (none / 0) (#21)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 07:33:22 AM EST
    reinvent the language to accommodate times like these.

    Something with more of a surrealist tinge.


    It is indeed ironic that ... (none / 0) (#32)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 01:37:26 PM EST
    ... the "None Dare Call It Treason" crowd has since come to embrace the concept of selling out one's own country for one's own wholly myopic and selfish political purposes. Not for nothing have I compared them to those who supported and governed Vichy France during the heyday of the Third Reich's military hegemony.

    Koch Sr. (none / 0) (#34)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 03:33:57 PM EST
    was a founding member of the John Birch Society, was he not?

    Kristoff (none / 0) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 06:49:54 AM EST
    also says that there is evidence of direct collusion that hasn't been revealed to the public. That statement sent twitter aflame.

    A couple of questions about treason. (none / 0) (#23)
    by caseyOR on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 09:35:58 AM EST
    I think PeterG commented that treason only applies in time of war. It is my understanding that we have been at war since Sept. 11, 2001. Our never-ending War on Terror. Our War Against Radical Islam. We spent a fortune, nearly decimated our troops, a former president landed on an aircraft carrier. Sounds like war. Is it not legally war?

    Secondly, did CIA mole Aldrich Ames not commit treason when he handed over information to the Soviets? How about FBI agent Robert Hanssen? When he sold info to the Russians was he not committing treason?

    Is selling or otherwise passing information to an enemy not always treason?


    As a legal technicality, Peter is correct. (none / 0) (#33)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 01:55:56 PM EST
    But that said, I would further argue that any strict adherence to such an otherwise narrow legal construct completely fails to capture the moral and emotional essence of the political turmoil and trauma in which our country is presently embroiled.

    In that regard, the term "treason" in this case really embodies our collective sense of national foreboding and betrayal, one which is well above and beyond any nominal legal requirement that two witnesses similarly account in a court of law for the same overt act constituting such.



    Agree, let's hear the treason argument (none / 0) (#10)
    by Green26 on Thu Mar 23, 2017 at 10:36:45 PM EST
    My post was meant to respond to the Capt (none / 0) (#11)
    by Green26 on Thu Mar 23, 2017 at 10:37:38 PM EST
    Meanwhile (none / 0) (#22)
    by FlJoe on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 08:31:17 AM EST
    Nunes admits that he doesn't know sh*t
    The office of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) now concedes that the House Intelligence Committee chair is not sure that the intelligence community ever incidentally collected communications from President Donald Trump or members of his transition team.

    Is there more to this quote from the spokesman? (none / 0) (#61)
    by Green26 on Sat Mar 25, 2017 at 11:37:47 AM EST
    Spokesman is quoted as saying only that they'd have to wait to get the info. Just wanting to make sure that the author accurately described the conversation or question.I saw a clip of Nunes talking, not sure if it was recent or not, and he said he didn't know if the Trump people were "monitored" or not.

    He was an advisor and then campaign (none / 0) (#28)
    by Green26 on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 12:10:39 PM EST
    manager (for less than 90 days). Supposedly unpaid. Are you going to tell me that he wasn't an advisor? it was a generic reference him. We can stipulate for purposes of this discussion that he was campaign manager and is either a bad guy or bad news, or both, and may have legal issues.

    Now, I'd like to see what TL posters think the impact on Trump will be. Bad press. Obviously, yes. Impeachment. Doubt it. Legal problems. Doubt it. Some political issues. Probably. This is why I don't see this as a big deal for Trump in the long run.

    If there was collusion by Manafort, or others, with the Russians during and about the campaign, then I would have different views. If it was shown that Trump knew about a bunch of Manafort's issues, then perhaps a different view too, depending on what the knowledge was.

    It never ceases to amaze me that some TL posters, presumably smart, react so negatively to posts that don't agree with their views, can't seem to have a discussion, and start name-calling.

    I voted for Hillary. I have posted some the most negative stuff about Trump posted on TL. I have not supported him once. Kellyanne? Come on. You, with your apparently inability to even have a discussion, are closer to Kellyanne than I am. Try taking off your blinders and try to have a discussion, instead of attacking me.

    Please (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by FlJoe on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 01:37:10 PM EST
    If it was shown that Trump knew about a bunch of Manafort's issues, then perhaps a different view too, depending on what the knowledge was.
    Much of his baggage was well known and reported on at the time of his hiring.
    Manafort has offered his services to not one but two presidents driven from power through popular revolution -- Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine and Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. He has lobbied for Saudi Arabia, a Bahamanian president suspected of narco-trafficking and a former Angolan rebel leader accused of torture.
    In 1989, Manafort was hauled before Congress for a classic example of Washington double-dealing. His firm received a $326,000 fee for securing for a client a $43 million Department of Housing and Urban Development subsidy for a block of low-income apartments in Seabrook, New Jersey. Manafort then purchased a 20 percent stake in the Seabrook subdivision that was to receive the federal subsidy for which he lobbied.
    Documents uncovered in 2014 from a lawsuit brought about by former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko show that Manafort attempted to set up a real-estate partnership with Dmitry Firtash, a notorious Ukrainian businessman who financed the party of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and who is wanted by the FBI on bribery and corruption charges.
    Willful ignorance is no excuse for you or tRump.

    FIJoe, please elaborate on why (none / 0) (#38)
    by Green26 on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 05:03:01 PM EST
    you think those things you listed are so horrible, and why they should impact Trump now. Manafort has been out of the Trump campaign since well before the election. I just don't see the seriousness of the things you cited. Not sticking up for Manafort or Trump. This is what led to my earlier So What comment. Thanks for responding and please tell us more. Would love to read more your thoughts on this subject. I assume that my initial reaction may evolve with more info.

    Green, you are now (none / 0) (#71)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 28, 2017 at 03:14:46 PM EST
    blog-clogging, please stop. You've already stated your opinion numerous times. Enough.

    Agreed, both of you need to stop the (none / 0) (#29)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 12:58:41 PM EST
    personal sniping at each other. The rest of us don't want to read it. This space is for comments about the topic, not each other.

    Requiring facts is sniping? (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by Towanda on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 06:01:28 PM EST
    Jeralyn, if you also think that allowing the Trump line to minimize Manafort as only an advisor, a volunteer, and not a campaign manager . . . well, I can get that from Spicer's pressers.  

    it's how you express it (none / 0) (#70)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 28, 2017 at 03:13:42 PM EST
    disagree without belittling someone who disagrees with you.

    And is not the topic "falsehoods" (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by Towanda on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 06:03:20 PM EST
    right in the title of this post?  So, how is correcting a falsehood not on topic. . . .

    Fuggedaboudit, I'm off to Armando's tweets.


    Those tweets (none / 0) (#72)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 28, 2017 at 07:37:06 PM EST
    are bracing and refreshing....

    Already (none / 0) (#30)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 01:12:49 PM EST
    Trump has massive political problems. He had them from the start and is incapable of overcoming them.

    I seem to recall that Republicans


    and (none / 0) (#36)
    by FlJoe on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 04:08:12 PM EST
    lets not forget tRumps other "volunteer" Flim Flam Flynn
    former CIA Director James Woolsey said that he attended a secret meeting in September with ousted Trump national security adviser Adm. Mike Flynn to plan a covert operation to "whisk away" a fugitive cleric and hand him over to Turkey's authoritarian government.

    The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Woolsey and other people present at the meeting confirmed that Flynn was coordinating with officials from the cabinet of right-wing Turkish Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdogan in anticipation of extraditing Fethullah Gulen back to Turkey should Trump win the presidency.

    all while pocketing a cool half a mil from said Turks. Quid meet Quo.

    Considering the sourcing this is the real deal, and I would bet good money that Woolsey had a hand  in the unmasking of Flynn and the entire country and the world should thank him for it.


    Trump does have a large number of (none / 0) (#39)
    by Green26 on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 05:05:03 PM EST
    friends and advisors who have done lots of business and things, around the world, and probably do have some questionable things in their past. Some more questionable than others.

    Cute (none / 0) (#40)
    by FlJoe on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 05:18:56 PM EST
    Business and things.

    Conspiring with a foreign government to kidnap someone is way beyond questionable, it's a crime, full stop.

    A fish rots from the head.


    Why would you focus on "things"? (none / 0) (#42)
    by Green26 on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 05:23:19 PM EST
    It was just a generic way of getting to the subject at hand. Tell us more about conspiring to kidnap. Also, how would that violate US law. Not saying it wouldn't; just don't know how it would. What was the evidence? Why wasn't he charged?

    Do you believe every allegation? Do you believe everything you read on the internet?


    You (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by FlJoe on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 06:38:44 PM EST
    brush off allegations of corruption, money laundering, illegal lobbying, political meddling and worse as things.

    Then you turn to your tried and true deflection of asking questions on basic fact (pro tip: conspiring to commit a crime is a crime).

    Instead of refuting the case I laid out, you want to ask rhetorical questions and dismiss my evidence as as some type of fake news, this is not a leak to some two bit internet rag.

    Do you believe that Woolsley is lying? The WSJ? Was it just locker room talk?


    Joe, what I would like to know is why (none / 0) (#55)
    by Green26 on Sat Mar 25, 2017 at 12:15:00 AM EST
    you believe this will be bad, or worse, for Trump. He isn't implicated in these things, at least as of now. I can read. I follow most "things", but not everything.

    I keep asking why this will be bad, or horrible, for Trump, and you keep providing information on Manafort. I agree that Manafort has issues, potentially legal, and is not as good guy. That is not the debate.

    Again, what about Trump? Would love to see more from you, or anyone.


    The allegations (none / 0) (#57)
    by FlJoe on Sat Mar 25, 2017 at 07:25:04 AM EST
    are that tRumps team colluded with the Russians, Manafort was an important member of that team, there is mounting evidence that Manafort was doing some dirty dealing with Russians and their allies. Another brick in the wall at the very least.

    Maybe on a strictly legal basis this does not end up as a problem for tRump but in the court of public opinion it should be damming. It will further erode the trust of any Republican with a shred of sanity or patriotism left and it is currently red meat for the media(a year too fkng late, IMO).

    Furthermore, the closer they get to Manafort the more likely they will get him or someone in his orbit to flip. The more leads they follow up on the greater the chances that more evidence will come up linking tRump associates with the Russians.

    I find it hard to believe I have to explain all this to a self proclaimed politically astute lawyer. I don't what "debate" you are having in your head, but in the real world Manafort being in deep do-do is nothing but bad news for tRump, the only real question is how bad.

    The fish rots from the head down, if you want to argue that truism knock yourself out.


    donald! (none / 0) (#47)
    by linea on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 08:29:03 PM EST
    i admit i get emotional and rant sometimes but your writing style needs to be more... millennial.

    With all due respect, Jeralyn... rather than tethered to the desperate political spin... they resort instead to operating on a more vituperative level...to paraphrase what the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan once correctly observed..."Aloha."

    linea it is not your place (none / 0) (#69)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 28, 2017 at 03:09:26 PM EST
    to tell people how to write. You may comment here posting your own views on a topic, not insult another commenter. Comments like yours stifle open discourse.

    Right now (none / 0) (#59)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Mar 25, 2017 at 08:21:37 AM EST
    it looks possible that Manafort was the money man for Putin and possibly Manafort was used to launder money from Putin to Trump. We shall see. Remember the old adage follow the money.

    That would be a big problem for Trump (none / 0) (#60)
    by Green26 on Sat Mar 25, 2017 at 11:31:52 AM EST
    BBC reported last fall that the supposed 2d attempt at a Fisa warrant regarding possible Trump associate contacts with Russia, involved a Russian bank, but did not name Trump or any Trump associate. It seems and has seemed that Manafort may have issues (real ones). Not sure why he would testify before the House committee, assuming it would be under oath, if he has criminal problems looming.

    I have (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by FlJoe on Sat Mar 25, 2017 at 03:30:25 PM EST
    heard several theories around.

    1. Through Nunes he will know what the Committee has seen and will at least know enough not to fall into a perjury trap.

    2. He figures he will be forced to testify here or the Senate, so he might as well tell his lies in Nunes, Gowdy et al's rabbit hole.

    3. It's all for show and he knows that this testimony will never happen. Nunes seems to be determined to destroy the committee as a functioning body. Even if the investigations continue, Nunes as all the tools in the world to delay his appearance, or allow his lawyers to attach enough strings to make his appearance worthless.  

    I lean towards #3, but as you can see it all revolves around Nunes, who, IMO, has proven himself to be an absolute blatant tool.

    It looks like he volunteered to do an interview (none / 0) (#67)
    by Green26 on Sun Mar 26, 2017 at 01:27:35 AM EST
    Not under oath. Not in public or in front of cameras. Limited in scope.

    Wouldn't cause him potential further criminal issues.

    Wouldn't yield nearly as much info.


    Why not? (none / 0) (#63)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Mar 25, 2017 at 12:36:06 PM EST
    I would think it would look worse if he refused to testify and he also can always plead the 5th. He also could be looking for immunity. It seems to me there are a lot of reasons why he would testify.

    I will defer to PeterG and the criminal (none / 0) (#64)
    by Green26 on Sat Mar 25, 2017 at 01:47:59 PM EST
    defense lawyers. Looking bad is one thing. Saying something under oath that contributes to larger criminal problems would be my bigger concern.

    Smaller words, fewer of them (none / 0) (#68)
    by Yman on Sun Mar 26, 2017 at 02:56:23 PM EST
    ... less logic, more emotion, preferably nothing over three syllables - think Trump and his Twitter feed.

    OTOH - I know quite a few millenials who can deal with big boy words and full paragraphs.

    Another log on the fire (none / 0) (#73)
    by Yman on Tue Mar 28, 2017 at 08:37:36 PM EST