Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Friday, July 21, 2017

Pardon Me for This TrumpWorld Grab-Bag

There's something astounding about the speed with which Trump stories have recently progressed. At last glance, Trump was insinuating that Robert Mueller would have crossed a red line if he investigated the Trump Family/Company finances. But that is exactly what Mueller will do. Because of course he would. Because for one thing, I don't think it makes a whole lot of sense that Trump has been really protective of his tax returns the way he has and we still pretend there's nothing there, and also, that bankruptcy history. Those loans.  The way Eric Trump boasted about all that Russian cash and then suddenly Trump and them are pretending they have no Russian connections?

Following the money is the obvious thing to do in the first place--but this is exactly where Trump seems to feel most sensitive.  The Trump gambit of "investigating the investigators" is a little like his war on journalism--he wants to undermine voices that call him out, and call them "illegitimate" before they catch him in lies. It is, to be a little repetitive--obvious. To go to the Bard, he doth protest too much, which is most telling.

So I look at his recent reported inquiries into his presidential pardon power with a certain eye--of course he is looking into who he can pardon. This isn't what you do if you have a "nothingburger" that investigators are working on. It seems a bit like there's a "somethingburger" and he wants a little bicarbonate of "So don't lean on my family". Or that's what it looks like to me. It could be people closest to him are especially at risk, and this may very well be because he trusts them most--even to do things that aren't strictly ethical.

Right now, his defense seems to be that the appearance of collusion was totally correct because why wouldn't his campaign try to get whatever oppo they could? But the inkling that they knew of and were actively seeking out feloniously received information,  or were whoring off after poisoned fruit to win an election, is in itself troublesome and unethical. Especially if it held them open to blackmail. If it compromised the integrity of the attempts the Trump Administration makes at governing. It calls absolutely stupid ideas like the US/Russian collaborative effort at cybersecurity into question because of course a President who only won through Russian interference would think this is a great thing. But we might not even really know the extent of, for example, Trump Jr's Russian contacts, right now. Too many people, like Flynn, Manafort, Kushner, Sessions, etc., deliberately seem to have withheld information about their Russian contacts--that isn't normal, acceptable, or less than seriously questionable.

Sometimes, news just seems vaguely "not good" in the Trump orbit--the resignation of a legal spokesperson.  Marc Kasowitz is out on the Trump legal team.  The finding against Exxon for violating Russian sanctions while current SOS Rex Tillerson was CEO.

Other times, we get news that expands on our understanding of what went so askew with the 2016 election--take the investigation into the degree to which Russia influenced the left.  Jill Stein is a person who should be looked into. Not in Trump's orbit (but maybe Flynn's?) but someone who rode a propaganda train. (I have a hard place in my heart for folks who voted Stein or wrote in Sanders as if Trump and what he could represent held no threat to them. They wanted to believe Clinton was the devil. What the hell were they even looking at?)

But it seems like this was a lot of news breaking just now. And I don't think a lot of breaking news is in Trump's favor, at all.

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