Former Bill Clinton aide attacks Mueller . . . doesn’t reveal he’s now working for Republicans

On Sunday, the Hill published an op-ed by former Bill Clinton aide Mark Penn urging an end to the Mueller investigation.

 “Time and time again, investigators came up empty,” Penn wrote. “Even several sting operations with an FBI spy we just learned about failed to produce a DeLorean-like video with cash on the table. But rather than close the probe, the deep state just expanded it.”
 Penn concludes by claiming that the Mueller probe has set a dangerous precedent and should conclude.

“Stopping Mueller isn’t about one president or one party. It’s about all presidents and all parties,” Penn wrote. “It’s about cleaning out and reforming the deep state so that our intelligence operations are never used against opposing campaigns without the firmest of evidence. It’s about letting people work for campaigns and administrations without needing legal defense funds,” he writes.

 Penn’s position might seem odd given his past work with the Clintons. In his bio, the Hill notes that he worked as an advisor to Bill Clinton and an aid to Hillary Clinton in 2008. But what the biography leaves out is the Penn is currently head of the Stagwell group, a public relations and consulting firm. According to their website, the group holds a stake in a GOP digital agency that’s worked with Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker and Rick Perry, among others, as PR Week reported in 2017.

Trump refuses to use a secure cell phone . . . I wonder who is listening??

President Trump doesn’t have any advanced security features, or protection on his cell phone because it’s too “inconvenient,” according to Politico.

Two senior administration officials said that they asked the president to rotate his phone on a monthly basis but he declined.
 According to the officials, President Trump has two cell phones.  One only makes calls and the other has access to Twitter and news apps.

Nate Jones, the former director of counterterrorism on the National Security Council said that Trump’s denial to listen to his aides, “could pose significant risks to the country.”

Trump just shot someone on 5th Avenue . . . and his worshipers don’t care

It seemed odd when Trump decided to intervene on behalf of a questionable Chinese tech giant, particularly given the company’s flouting of Iran sanctions, and even more particularly given that his new National Security Advisor John Bolton was suggesting that Europe might be sanctioned if they didn’t join Trump in violating the Iran deal. But nothing is odd with Trump. The normal would be odd. The rational would be odd. The ethical would be odd. Defending the national and public interests would be odd. Proving a hypocrite on Iran is not odd. Pissing off important traditional allies is not odd. This is Trump.

But still people wondered why Trump would step up to protect a Chinese conglomerate. And it didn’t take long for an obvious answer to appear. And with Trump it was the most obvious of obvious answers. Because Trump cares not only first and foremost but exclusively about Trump. If there’s a quo, there must be a quid. A very big quid:

A mere 72 hours after the Chinese government agreed to put a half-billion dollars into an Indonesian project that will personally enrich Donald Trump, the president ordered a bailout for a Chinese-government-owned cellphone maker.

“President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast,” Trump announced on Twitter Sunday morning. “Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!”

Trump did not mention in that tweet or its follow-ups that on Thursday, the developer of a theme park resort outside of Jakarta had signed a deal to receive as much as $500 million in Chinese government loans, as well as another $500 million from Chinese banks, according to Agence France-Presse. Trump’s family business, the Trump Organization, has a deal to license the Trump name to the resort, which includes a golf course and hotels.

In any other administration that would have been a political bombshell. In any other administration, that would have dominated the news not only for days, but for the rest of what likely would have been its political death spiral. Had a president Hillary Clinton or President Barack Obama so obviously violated not only the emoluments clause of the Constitution but such basic standards of ethics, the Republican Congress would have immediately begun impeachment hearings. But with Trump, it’s just another shrug. Because the Republican Congress has no basic standards of ethics. The Republican Congress doesn’t care a whit about the Constitution.

 

Trump is going down . . . and this is why

Trump started out denying that he even knew Stormy Daniels, then he denied having a sexual relationship with her, then he said he didn’t know about any payoffs to her. Monday, he filed his required federal financial disclosure form in which he effectively admitted making the $130,000 payment to shut her up just before the election in 2016.

 He did an about-face on trade restrictions on China, announcing that he would seek to help the Chinese communications giant ZTE, which paid a $1.2 billion fine last year for violating sanctions against trade with North Korea and Iran. Three days previously, China had issued a half-billion dollar loan to a development project in Singapore that includes Trump-branded hotels, golf courses and condos.

He opened the American embassy in Jerusalem, a move he had been warned would result in fighting and deaths in the Middle East — and sure enough, dozens of Palestinians were killed on the day the embassy opened during demonstrations in the Gaza Strip.

 The Trump White House refused to apologize for a sick joke made about John McCain by one of his aides.

Trump’s former secretary of state gave a commencement speech at VMI in which he made repeated veiled criticisms of Trump’s lying and warned gravely “If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom.”

 Special Counsel Robert Mueller issued a subpoena to a former aide of Trump’s long-time consultant Roger Stone, who has admitted being in touch during the campaign of 2016 with a Russian intelligence agent involved in the hacking of the Democratic Party emails.

A major story in Buzzfeed on Thursday detailed work by Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen on a 100-story Trump skyscraper in Moscow during 2015 right through the Republican National Convention in 2016. It was revealed that Trump signed a “Letter of Intent” on the Moscow project on the day of the third Republican primary debate on Oct. 28, 2015, in Boulder, Colorado. ABC News reported last week that Trump has denied having deals in Russia “hundreds of times in the past 18 months.”

A Qatar deal was announced. The revelation follows a report that during the transition in 2016, a Qatari diplomat was asked by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen for a $1 million “fee” in return for arranging connections to the Trump family. The government of Qatar bought a $6.5 million apartment in Trump World Tower on the east side of Manhattan recently.

 The news of last week was a perfect mix of lies, thievery, buffoonery and malice that have characterized the entirety of Trump’s presidency.

He promised to get rid of Obamacare “on day one.” He failed. Obamacare is alive and well and enjoyed record registrations last year.

 His executive orders on everything from immigration to environmental regulations have ignored requirements for public comments and simple federal paperwork and face lawsuits from one end of the country to the other.

He claimed that “nobody has been tougher on Russia than I have.” He has refused to enact most of the sanctions on Russia passed by Congress.

 He appointed a hatchet man who had sued the EPA over a dozen times to head up the agency and that man, Scott Pruitt, currently faces no less than 14 investigations of his tenure there, including allegations that he broke federal laws on office renovations and accepting gifts from lobbyists when he rented a room at below-market rates from a lobbyist with business before his agency.

Last week he claimed he raised military pay for “the first time in 10 years.” President Obama raised military pay in every year of his presidency.

 Trump has claimed repeatedly that his White House “is running like a fine-tuned machine.” He filled it with wife beaters, worn-out Wall Street bucket shop shysters and half-baked neo-Nazi flacks. At this point, more than 40 top White House officials and aides have either resigned or been fired over the last 18 months. The place leaks like a shredded fish net.

The Washington Post recently reported that the lies he has told in office now number more than 3,000.

 But it’s his lies about Russia that really ring a bell. Trump and his White House surrogates began by claiming that the Trump campaign never met with any Russians and had nothing to do with Russia. Revelation after revelation about contacts between Trump people and Russians followed. Then they claimed they had met with only a few Russians. More revelations about more Russians. Then they claimed they had not met with any Russians “about the campaign.” The Trump Tower meeting was revealed. Meets between George Papadopoulos and Russians in London came to light. Trump suddenly started claiming that there was “no collusion.” Evidence of collusion emerged. Then Trump began claiming that even if there was collusion, it was not illegal. Indictments came down. Now Rudy Giuliani is out there telling the world that even if Trump did something wrong, he can’t be indicted as a sitting president.

Wow. Watching Trump revisions on the Russia story is like watching a Slinky descend a staircase, flipping over and over and over and over.

 But every set of stairs has a bottom and in Trump’s case, it’s the law. His lies and dissembling about Stormy Daniels came up against the law this week when he had to file his financial disclosure form. Lying or omitting information on a federal form is a felony, which is why Trump was forced to include the repayment of his debt to Michael Cohen which covered the $130,000 that had been paid out to silence Stormy Daniels in October of 2016. He lied about her and he lied about that payment until he came up against the law and then he was forced to tell the truth.

He has reached the ground floor with Russia and everything else. You can lie at rallies, you can lie to the media, you can lie to voters, but lies don’t work when they come up against laws. That’s where Trump finds himself today. He’s a lying, thieving traitor who conspired with a hostile nation to steal the presidential election of 2016 and he got caught. Not even his bone spurs will get him a deferment this time. He’s going to be drafted for the farm team at Leavenworth. He’s going down.