FunTime New Worst President Ever Happy Hour!
David Cay Johnston:
Trump is very fucking corrupt:
You have studied and written about Donald Trump for three decades. What does the public need to know about his background, to understand his behavior as president?
Here are the key things people should know about Donald Trump. He comes from a family of criminals: His grandfather made his fortune running whorehouses in Seattle and in the Yukon Territory. His father, Fred, had a business partner named Willie Tomasello, who was an associate of the Gambino crime family. Trump's father was also investigated by the U.S. Senate for ripping off the government for what would be the equivalent of $36 million in today's money. Donald got his showmanship from his dad, as well as his comfort with organized criminals.
I think it is very important for religious Americans to know that Donald Trump says that his personal philosophy of life is revenge. He has called anyone who turns the other cheek -- which is a fundamental teaching of Christ in the Sermon on the Mount -- a fool, an idiot or a schmuck. Trump is a man who says things that are absolutely contrary to the teachings of the New Testament. He also denigrates Christians. Yet you see all of these ministers endorsing him.
I've followed Donald for 30 years. I don't see any evidence that he has changed, and he certainly hasn't repented, which is a fundamental Christian obligation.
He is a racist through and through. He has been found in formal judicial proceedings to discriminate against nonwhites in rentals and employment.
It's important to understand that Trump is aggressively anti-Christian, despite claiming to be one. He is bluntly a racist. Most importantly, he is literally ignorant about almost everything.(snip)
As Malcolm Nance and others have warned, Russia's interference in the 2016 election and likely infiltration of Trump's inner circle could be one of the worst intelligence disasters in American history, a failure of Benedict Arnold or Rosenberg proportions.
Let me be very clear and quotable about this. At an absolute minimum, Donald Trump has divided loyalties, and the evidence we already have suggests that Donald Trump is a traitor. In fact, I would say that the evidence we already have, the public materials such as emails for example, strongly indicate that Donald Trump is a traitor. However, I don't even think he understands what he's done.-------------------------------
The President Is a Few Bulbs Short of a Chandelier.
Trump melts down—and is cut off by the hosts of—Fox & Friends.
This is the most remarkable thing ever said to a President of the United States: “We could talk all day but looks like you have a million things to do.”
Brian Kilmeade is one of the co-hosts of the Fox News Channel’s morning show, Three Dolts on a Divan. The president* watches this show every day because what else does he have to do, right? It was one of the Fox shows that created him as a viable national political figure, and one of the few shows anywhere completely committed to sustaining him as such.
On Thursday morning, he called in, and, over the next several minutes, had what can be gently called an “episode.” In no particular order, he threatened to bring the Justice Department under his personal control; praised his magnificent performance in office; defended his nominee to run the VA even though said nominee already had pulled his name from consideration; threw Michael Cohen overboard; admitted he had spent that fateful night in Moscow at the Miss Universe pageant; ranted about the crimes of James Comey, the perfidy of Jon Tester, and the rank dishonesty of the media; and explained to the nation that Abraham Lincoln had been a Republican, which, “people don’t realize.” And then Kilmeade cut him off. (snip)
Trump is very fucking corrupt:
More than at any time in history, the president of the United States is actively using the power and prestige of his office to line his own pockets: landing loans for his businesses, steering wealthy buyers to his condos, securing cheap foreign labor for his resorts, preserving federal subsidies for his housing projects, easing regulations on his golf courses, licensing his name to overseas projects, even peddling coffee mugs and shot glasses bearing the presidential seal.
For Trump, whose business revolves around the marketability of his name, there has proved to be no public policy too big, and no private opportunity too crass, to exploit for personal profit.
Nowhere has the self-enrichment been more evident than at his Washington hotel, which quickly filled up with the very lobbyists and swamp creatures Trump had railed against during his campaign. Oil companies, mining interests, insurance executives, foreign diplomats, and defense contractors all rushed to book their annual conferences at Trump’s hotels and resorts, where Cabinet members graciously addressed them. After hiking the nightly rate to $653 — 32 percent higher than other local luxury hotels — Trump collected $2 million in profits from the property during his first three months in office.
By last August, the hotel’s bar and restaurant had hauled in another $8 million in revenue. And although Trump has pledged to give away any money his hotels earn from foreign governments, the plan contains a lucrative loophole: Employees at his hotels admit that they make no effort to identify guests who represent other countries, meaning that much of the foreign money spent at Trump’s properties flows directly into his own pockets.
On March 28, a federal judge allowed a lawsuit to go forward that charges Trump with violating the Constitution by accepting money from foreign governments at his D.C. hotel. In fact, although Trump refuses to disclose the details of his myriad business operations, he continues to enjoy access to every dime he makes as president. Instead of setting up a blind trust to avoid conflicts of interest, as other presidents have done, Trump put his two grown sons in charge of his more than 500 business entities. His sons regularly brief Trump about how the enterprises are doing, enabling him to personally monitor how his decisions in office affect his bottom line.
What’s more, only 15 days after this “eyes wide open” trust was set up, Trump amended the fine print to allow him to take money out of the operation any time he pleases. The loophole, buried on page 161 of the 166-page form, stipulates that any “net income or principal” can be distributed to Trump “at his request.” Far from putting his wealth in a blind trust, Trump asked the public for its blind trust, effectively sticking his money in a piggy bank in Don Jr.’s room that he is free to raid at any hour of the day or night.
Trump’s children are working hard to cash in on his time in office — especially with foreign investors. At taxpayer expense, they have flown to Uruguay, the Dominican Republic, Dubai, and India in search of licensing and real-estate deals, trading on the president’s influence in exchange for investments.
But the biggest complication of Trump’s presidency — and the one he works hardest to keep secret — is the way his entire business operation is mired in massive debt. Rather than being independently wealthy, public records show, Trump and the business partnerships in which he is a leading investor owe big banks and foreign governments at least $2.3 billion — far more than his disclosure reports indicate.
His largest single loan — for nearly $1 billion — is from a syndicate assembled by Goldman Sachs that includes the state-owned Bank of China. If either Trump or Jared Kushner, who tried to shake down Qatar’s finance minister for a loan, winds up needing to negotiate new terms on his ballooning debt, America could find itself being dictated to by a foreign government — all because the White House, thanks to Trump’s business model, has become a true House of Cards.
What follows is 501 days of official corruption, from small-time graft and brazen influence peddling to full-blown raids on the federal Treasury. Given how little Trump has disclosed about his finances, this timeline of self-dealing is undoubtedly only a fraction of the corruption that will eventually come to light. But as even this initial glimpse makes clear, Trump isn’t draining the swamp — he’s monetizing it.