Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Saturday, March 17, 2018

A Celebrity Apprentice TrumpWorld Grab-Bag

This week was rife with tales of TrumpWorld government departures and speculation about who was next. The firing of Rex Tillerson left some speculating whether the "suicide pact" resignations would be enacted. There was some fluttering rumor 24 hours or so ago that H.R. McMaster was due to leave and the General Kelly was likely to resign. So far, McMaster is safe (or as safe as one can be in that milieu) and as this anecdote supports, Kelly is still fitting in quite nicely as Trump's CoS with all the dignity that position entails:

According to those sources, Kelly recounted a very awkward conversation with Tillerson during which he informed the secretary that President Donald Trump would very likely soon fire him. The awkwardness was less a result of the contents of the conversation than its setting.

Tillerson, Kelly told the room, was suffering from a stomach bug during a diplomatic swing through Africa, and was using a toilet when Kelly broke the news to him.

Sources were stunned that, even in an off-record setting, Kelly would say this—to a room filled with White House officials and political reporters—about Tillerson, who does not officially leave the State Department until the end of the month.


Someone certainly had to go. It couldn't be McMaster (and I think this is because the firing got leaked before Trump could pettishly do it by Tweet which just killed the drama) but Trump was planning on fucking with Deputy FBI Director McCabe anyway. And with a couple days to go before he was safe to get his pension and retire--Boom! Time of career death 10 PM EST on a Friday. As one does. If one is AG Jeff Sessions, and supposedly recused from things having to do with the Russian election interference investigation, of which the Comey firing which McCabe has important details about is a part, and which now folds into the Mueller investigation that also includes obstruction of justice because (taking a deep bloggy breath) Trump didn't fire Comey because of his tenderness over how Hillary Clinton was treated by the FBI during the 2016 election, and that surely has nothing to do with his direction to Sessions regarding McCabe in this instance. (I don't really think the recommendation of the OIG matters that much here because we have Twitter-proof that Trump was always fixing to have McCabe fired. Trump couldn't help but let us all know via Twitter because, I think, he doesn't really have much of an internal life.)

In other words--Trump was feeling bitchy and needed to holler "Off with their heads" like the little Queen of Hearts he is. But I don't think it will be without repercussions. If the result from media coverage isn't the pick-me-up the White House Celebrity Apprentice Boss was looking for, Trump has a little list (or a big one) of people he can go to remove (Shulkin, McMaster, really, why isn't he thinking of getting rid of Ryan Zinke? That guy is awful!) to try and give his mood a boost. But some personnel decisions can come back to bite him. McCabe's might, in part because he telegraphed via Twitter his feelings. And also because it ties in to whether McCabe is a witness regarding the obstruction of justice charge(s).  And because he screwed over a guy with 21 years of honorable service to the FBI as a demonstration to other law enforcement professionals who might not actually receive the takeaway perception Trump hoped they did.

But to get a flavor of what this "firing and the fury" distraction is trying to take us away from, lets take a peek into what's going on with the Stormy Daniels case. We know Michael Cohen, out of the goodness of his soul, set up a corporation to kind of half-assedly wire Stephanie Clifford $130K to settle an issue where she hushed up about a thing she had previously spoken about and was likely to again. Let's buy that he used his home equity line to do this thing. (Trump's lawyers love him big time.) Let's note for the record he used his Trump Organization email, and that he was not barred in California, and a Trump Organization-employed lawyer was eventually instrumental in trying to hush up the voluble adult film actor.

(I have determined that "adult film actor" goes down better in my books than the term "porn star" that seems to be used to denigrate Clifford's profession. People seem to want to in one breath treat the sex entertainment industry as universally exploitative, and with the next breath speak about performers in that industry in a way that perpetuates the idea of them as dispensable fuckholes. These folks have agency and are often highly aware of the issues regarding safety, consent, etc regarding sexuality that people in non-sex business life don't think about.)

Anywho, that's obviously not being done for no reason. Of course, the existence of an NDA to hush something up hints at there being something to hush up.  If Michael Cohen, for example, wanted to countersue "Stormy Daniels" because she's looking for a way out of that NDA (which was already closing the barn after the flight of the equines, but permit my intellectual peregrination) he would have to resort to the not adequately signed document he believes was enforceable. So here's the funny way this ties back to the Trump-Russia thing--Buzzfeed, also being sued by Cohen, is being sued because they published the Steele Dossier in which he plays a part, and he considers this defamatory against himself (sure, whatever). He's highly public as Trump's fixer, and the Dossier wasn't presented as necessarily 100% true. His case right there is iffy, but Buzzfeed is going to use the Stormy precedent to demonstrate that Cohen is a fixer and tries to cover up Trump's shit in the media catbox. Which call on Clifford as a witness and enjoins her to keep those records because they are discovery.

And since the NDA says some shit about stills and video, I guess this could even mean seeing POTPOTUS (Penis of the President of the US). I am feeling free as a bird to say Americans get the government transparency they deserve every now and again.

To keep this reality show theme alive, we are also sad to announce that Donald Trump Jr is getting divorced from his wife and mother of his five kids and she's hired a criminal attorney because reasons that might could have nothing to do with the fact that the Mueller investigation has subpoenaed Trump Organization docs pertaining to Russia.  She needs to secure whatever assets she can protect for her family, and I think that's fine.  I am not the one to make light of Don Jr's young family even if I think he's a total putz on Twitter or to gloat about the dissolution of his marriage--I divorced my first spouse, and that separation has an emotional cost, and because they were together longer and have kids, I know that it's way worse on them. I can highly sympathize. But that won't exempt their financial issues from anything to do with Trump Org financial shenanigans. This too, will mean "dirt out on the street".

Lastly, Facebook has suspended Cambridge Analytica. For reasons. As a person who sort of uses Facebook, I know that there was a lot of ads and fuckery during 2016 elections that only tangentially affected me, as a person who probably would not have been demographically identified as liable to be moved from a hard Democratic position. I can see how others could have been, though. That bothers me, and it is an abuse of personal information to have people sort of invite themselves to be open to a good brainwashing. This is in part why I pull back from Facebook, especially those games that ask stuff like "Let our app use your Facebook login to determine what Disney princess you would be" and such. I'll take a Buzzfeed quiz that doesn't compromise my ID (I guess). =


Cirze said...

Nice work.

Harry Hamid said...

This has been another crazy news week, then.

I sort of wish this era of American history was over and I can just read about all that happened from a safe disctance, in retrospect, down the line.