Trump is a mobster . . . his whole career is filled with mobsters

Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas titled their classic group portrait of Harry S. Truman’s foreign policy team, “The Wise Men.” A book about Donald Trump’s associations might be called “The Wise Guys.”

Mario Puzo would’ve been just the man to write it. Martin Scorsese could option the movie rights.

And if he’s not in prison when filming starts, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort deserves a role. Though Manafort hasn’t been accused of Mafia membership, Smooth Paulie certainly acts the part, judging from testimony at his trial in federal court on charges of fraud and tax evasion. He has a closet full of suits worthy of John Gotti (though even the Dapper Don might have balked at an ostrich-skin windbreaker) and a maze of offshore bank accounts dense enough to addle Meyer Lansky.

When Manafort’s turncoat lieutenant Rick Gates took the stand to detail their alleged conspiracies, I was transported to the day back in 1992 when Gotti’s underboss Sammy Gravano began singing at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn. Gotti’s lawyers attacked Sammy the Bull by demanding to know how many people he’d whacked. Manafort’s team asked Gates how many affairs he’s had.

If it seems harsh to compare Manafort to a mobster, take it up with President Trump, who got the ball rolling with a tweet before the trial began. “Looking back at history, who was treated worse, [Al] Capone, legendary mob boss . . . or Paul Manafort?” Trump mused.

And the president ought to know: He has spent plenty of time in mobbed-up milieus. As many journalists have documented — the late Wayne Barrett and decorated investigator David Cay Johnston most deeply — Trump’s trail was blazed through one business after another notorious for corruption by organized crime.

New York construction, for starters. In 1988, Vincent “the Fish” Cafaro of the Genovese crime family testified before a U.S. Senate committee concerning the Mafia’s control of building projects in New York. Construction unions and concrete contractors were deeply dirty, Cafaro confirmed, and four of the city’s five crime families worked cooperatively to keep it that way.

This would not have been news to Trump, whose early political mentor and personal lawyer was Roy Cohn, consigliere to such dons as Fat Tony Salerno and Carmine Galante. After Cohn guided the brash young developer through the gutters of city politics to win permits for Trump Plaza and Trump Tower, it happened that Trump elected to build primarily with concrete rather than steel. He bought the mud at inflated prices from S&A Concrete, co-owned by Cohn’s client Salerno and Paul Castellano, boss of the Gambino family.

Coincidence? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Trump moved next into the New Jersey casino business, which was every bit as clean as it sounds. State officials merely shrugged when Trump bought a piece of land from associates of Philadelphia mob boss “Little Nicky” Scarfo for roughly $500,000 more than it was worth. However, this and other ties persuaded police in Australia to block Trump’s bid to build a casino in Sydney in 1987, citing Trump’s “Mafia connections.”

His gambling interests led him into the world of boxing promotion, where Trump became chums with fight impresario Don King, a former Cleveland numbers runner. (Trump once told me that he owes his remarkable coiffure to King, who advised the future president, from personal experience, that outlandish hair is great PR.) King hasn’t been convicted since the 1960s, when he did time for stomping a man to death. But investigators at the FBI and U.S. Senate concluded that his Mafia ties ran from Cleveland to New York, Las Vegas to Atlantic City. Mobsters “were looking to launder illicit cash,” wrote one sleuth. “Boxing, of all the sports, was perhaps the most accommodating laundromat, what with its international subculture of unsavory characters who play by their own rules.”

But an even more accommodating laundromat came along: luxury real estate — yet another mob-adjacent field in which the Trump name has loomed large. Because buyers of high-end properties often hide their identities, it’s impossible to say how many Russian Mafia oligarchs own Trump-branded condos. Donald Trump Jr. gave a hint in 2008: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.”

For instance: In 2013, federal prosecutors indicted Russian mob boss Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov and 33 others on charges related to a gambling ring operating from two Trump Tower condos that allegedly laundered more than $100 million. A few months later, the same Mr. Tokhtakhounov, a fugitive from U.S. justice, was seen on the red carpet at Trump’s Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.

Obviously, not everyone in these industries is corrupt, and if Donald Trump spent four decades rubbing elbows with wiseguys and never got dirty, he has nothing to worry about from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. But does he look unworried to you?

Former US spy reveals start of Trump-Russia conspiracy

Bob Baer shares scoop on Trump and Russia
Ex-spy reveals what he’s discovered about President Trump and Putin
https://www.telluridenews.com/news/article_fe60e776-9cf7-11e8-8d94-7f6e5cd044d1.html

Bob Baer says he knows some of President Donald Trump’s Soviet secrets. The former undercover CIA operative divulged what he’s learned about Trump’s long-running relationship with Russia — specifically the KGB — during a free community event Thursday night at the Wilkinson Public Library. At the Telluride TV-sponsored talk, he explained the chumminess with the Communists dates back to 1986, when Trump, then a real estate developer in New York City, attended a cocktail party that included KGB agents, unbeknownst to Trump. America’s future president unwittingly became an “agent of influence,” which Baer explained is a person who is “susceptible to KGB manipulation, but the word KGB never comes up.”

During that time, he added, a KGB “illegal” (the term for an undercover KGB agent) filled Trump’s head with anti-Ronald Reagan rhetoric and delusions of grandeur, including planting the possibility of a U.S. presidential run, during a 1991 visit to the former Soviet Union, which was close to collapse and “broke.”

“It was a piece of flattery,” Baer said. “The Russians started his political aspirations,”

<<snip>>

Russian immigrants, including KGB illegals, began settling in Brighton Beach, New York, which is the start of the Russian mafia in America, Baer explained. The mob bosses worked out of Trump’s Taj Mahal Hotel & Casino. Trump, who needed money to finance his endeavors, started taking “Russian money,” according to Baer.

<<snip>>

Baer said he “filed away” the information until the Steele dossier was released in January, which alleges misconduct and conspiracy between Trump and the Russian government during the 2016 election. He added that the music video for Russian pop-star’s Emin Agalarov “Got Me Good,” which came out in June, depicts an alleged incident with Trump and two women during the 2013 Miss Universe contest in Moscow, which he hosted with Emin’s father, Aras. Baer proclaimed the Agalarovs are KGB agents. It is unclear if the Trump video the Russians maintain to have is from the 2013 Miss Universe contest. Baer did explain that a popular tactic the KGB like to employ involves planting a camera in a hotel room air conditioning vent in order to capture less-than-flattering encounters, usually with a “lady of the night.”

Saturday, August 11 — and the crazy just keeps on coming

Trump can’t get his useless border wall, so, he’s picking a fight with Canada

His wall on the Mexican border has not been built, but President Donald Trump is picking a second border dispute.

 According to the Washington Post, under Trump the U.S. State Department is getting aggressive with Canadians over an obscure and unpopulated island off the coast of Maine.

Machias Seal Island is 20-acre island 10 miles off the coast of Maine. The only people who reside there are Canadians that run a lighthouse. There are no trees on the windswept island.

But that has not stopped U.S. Border Patrol agents in speedboats who detaining Canadian lobster boats in an area where fisherman from both countries are supposed to be allowed to work. This is the first time in memory that such a thing has happened.

Capt. Andrew Patterson, who leads birding groups to the remote island, said there was an incident just after the G-7 summit in Quebec where Trump was rude to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

 

Amarosa wrote a tell-all book, not kind to Trump, here are five bonkers reports from the book

The tell-all book by former Donald Trump associate Omarosa Manigault contains a collection of claims that boggle the mind — yet remain plausible considering what Americans have come to learn about the former businessman who was voted into the Oval Office in 2016, reports The Daily Beast.

 According to the Beast’s Gideon Resnick, Omarosa claims in her book that Trump wanted to use his ghostwritten “Art of the Deal” instead of a Bible for his swearing-in — and that is just the tip of the Trump narcissism iceberg.

Among Omarosa’s anecdotes in her book, ‘Unhinged,’ due out on Tuesday:

Trump and his swearing in.

“He asked me, ‘Omarosa, what do you think about me getting sworn in on “The Art of the Deal?”’ Omarosa recalls in the book.

 “I said, ‘Instead of the Bible?’” she said she replied, before adding that Trump attempted to make his case by boasting his book was a “bestseller.”

“It’s the greatest business book of all time. It’s how I’m going to make great deals for the country. Just think how many copies I’d sell—maybe a commemorative inauguration copy?!” Trump reportedly replied.

Talking about sex in front of daughter Ivanka.

According to Manigualt, former Kiss frontman Gene Simmons leered and make sexual comments about Ivanka in front of Trump during an Apprentice taping. And Trump seemed to encourage him.

 “During one long break, Gene [Simmons] and Donald engaged in language so profane, it would have raised eyebrows in prison,” Omarosa wrote. “Donald asked Gene, ‘What do you think of Ivanka? How’s she doing?’ ”

“What followed was a vile exchange, right in front of Ivanka, with Gene Simmons talking about her in a room full of people. While leering openly at her breasts, he said, ‘She’s a very, very sexy, desirable young woman who I’m looking forward to getting to know much better if you know what I mean, with all due respect.’”

 According to Manigualt, Ivanka protested to her dad but to no avail.

“Everyone else in the room was shocked, not by Gene’s language (we knew he was a disgusting pig), but by Donald’s obvious delight in hearing it. He had complete control of the boardroom. He could have shut it down at any point. But he didn’t,” she recalled.

Trump freaked out when the Apprentice lost an Emmy to “The Great Race.”

According to Omarosa, Trump stormed out of the TV awards ceremony with wife Melania in tow, and snarled on his way out.

 “I saw him briefly as he was walking up the aisle to leave the auditorium, and he was livid. ‘We were robbed! They cheated us!’ he said in full voice. ‘I’m so pissed, Omarosa. They cheated us!’ and then he was gone,” she wrote.

Trump and staffers were ecstatic when presidential opponent Hillary Clinton fell ill during the campaign.

“Lara [Trump] and the others said things like ‘She’s sick! She’s not going to to make it to election night! She’s sick!’” Omarosa described.

 “They were gleeful that Clinton appeared to be gravely ill. Many people in Trumpworld believed that she was concealing a serious neurological medical condition — Parkinson’s was mentioned often. They thought that her untreated pneumonia might have been the cause of her collapse, but if you truly had pneumonia, why would you go visit your infant granddaughter? Many suspected there was an underlying condition as well,” she added.

Trump called his eldest son, Donald Trumpo Jr. a “f*ck-up.”

The president was infuriated when Don Jr. released details about his infamous meeting with Russians at Trump Tower in 2016.

 “He is such a fuckup. He screwed up again, but this time, he’s screwing us all, big-time!” Trump reportedly raged.
You can read the whole report containing other juicy tidbits here.
Trump tariffs force US company into bankruptcy — Making America Great Again
A high-end PC case maker says it has been “forced into bankruptcy and liquidation” by tariffs introduced by Donald Trump.

CaseLabs, which makes custom towers for computers and has a high-profile following, including prominent YouTubers such as LinusTechTips, announced it would be permanently closing on Saturday.

The company, based in California, said tariffs had raised costs by almost 80 per cent and that “the default of a large account” had added to the issue.

Read more: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/pc-case-maker-caselabs-latest-news-bankrupt-liquidated-us-tariffs-a8487416.html

Don’t worry, Trump will bail them out as he did the farmers. Right?
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/pc-case-maker-caselabs-latest-news-bankrupt-liquidated-us-tariffs-a8487416.html

Trump goes after Sessions — Again
President Donald Trump once again went after his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, in a tweetstorm about what the media should really be focused on.

The President honed in on reports this week about communications between dossier author Christopher Steele and DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

Trump declared, “I have never seen anything so Rigged in my life.”

But then he went after Sessions for not doing more to look into this, saying, “Our A.G. is scared stiff and Missing in Action.”

Read more: https://www.mediaite.com/online/trump-goes-after-jeff-sessions-again-scared-stiff-and-missing-in-action/

This explains why the “border wall” will do nothing to stop illegal immigration

The U.S. government has pulled together the numbers and nationalities of foreign travelers who entered the country legally in 2017 as nonimmigrants but overstayed their visas or their authorized periods of admission – thus remaining in the country without legal status.

A Department of Homeland Security report for fiscal year 2017 shows that more than 606,000 visitors to the United States overstayed their tourist, work, business and student visas, among other categories of nonimmigrant admissions.

Those violations represent a tiny portion – 1.15 percent or 606,926 suspected overstays – of the estimated 52.6 million nonimmigrant admissions through air or sea ports of entry, according to the report.

However, despite the Trump administration’s measures to strengthen immigration enforcement, this was the second year in a row in which more than 600,000 visitors stayed in the U.S. beyond their period of admission, becoming undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation…More…

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/us-government-targets-hundreds-of-thousands-of-foreigners-who-have-overstayed-their-visas/ar-BBLLOMi?li=BBnbcA1


Venezuelan nationals accounted for the highest overstay rate among Hispanics nonimmigrants admitted to the U.S. for business or tourism, according to the DHS statistics. Venezuelans are fleeing a deepening political and economic crisis in their country; South Florida is one of the biggest expatriate communities.

Tied for second and third places among Hispanic visitors who overstayed were Dominicans at 2.88 percent rate and Cubans at 2.86 percent rate. Fourth and fifth places went to El Salvador and Colombia. Haitian nationals had a 6.84 percent overstay rate. Dominican, Salvadoran and Colombian students are also on the list of student and exchange visitor overstays, according to the DHS report.

The largest groups of people who entered the U.S. legally and then overstayed their visits were Canadians, with more than 92,000 remaining in the U.S. longer than they were permitted, followed by Mexicans, with more than 47,000.

The Secret Service will physically remove his fat ass from the White House

How will Donald Trump’s reign end?

On Friday night, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell was asked about his prediction by Bill Maher on HBO’s Real Time.

 “I would say the most likely ending of it is when Elizabeth Warren, or whoever the Democratic nominee is, beats him in the next election,” he said.

Maher, who has long held that Trump aspires to be a dictator, said that he doubts Trump will give up the Oval Office smoothly.

 “So you think if he loses the election he will just greet her at the door on January 20th?”

“When the clock strikes 12, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will administer the oath of office to her, no matter where it is—he doesn’t have to show up, he doesn’t have to concede,” O’Donnell said. “The second she takes the oath she’s the president, he isn’t any longer. The Secret Service will physically remove him from the building if he’s still there.”

News you will not hear from Fox

Omarosa says she was offered $15K per month as hush money.

Former Donald Trump confidante Omarosa Manigault Newman was offered $15,000 a month from the president’s campaign to “stay silent” after being fired from the White House, The Washington Post reported Friday.

 The offer was refused because of a nondisclosure agreement that would silence Manigualt Newman from commenting about Trump and his family.

 

Trump’s former bodyguard is getting $15K per month to be quiet

Friday’s bombshell report that former top staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman was offered $15,000 a month from the President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign to “stay silent” after being fired from the White House was flagged by two top political reporters for a fascinating coincidence.

 Staff writer at The Atlantic and MSNBC contributor Natasha Bertrand and Washington Post senior political reporter Aaron Blake both noted another former White House staffer making the exact same amount as the alleged hush money offer.
North Korea tells the Dotard his offers are “gangster-like”

Washington (CNN)The US has made repeated proposals to North Korea on denuclearization, all of which have been rejected, according to senior diplomatic sources.

The United States has made, and continues to make, “specific proposals for starting and proceeding to the end point of fully verified denuclearization,” including a timeline, these sources say.
North Korea has rejected all of these proposals, considering them “gangster-like,” one of the sources said.
The impasse has brought the rocket-like trajectory of Trump administration diplomacy with North Korea down to earth and the more typical grind of talks with Pyongyang that have stymied prior administrations.
The vague promises that emerged from President Donald Trump’s June summit with leader Kim Jong Un have led to a diplomatic disconnect. The brief document produced after the leaders met included no time frame, no specific promises or milestones to meet, allowing both sides to interpret it as they wished.
Melania’s parents sworn in as US citizens . . . they took advantage of “chain migration” that Trump wants to end

President Trump has repeatedly and vehemently denounced what he calls “chain migration,” in which adult American citizens can obtain residency for their relatives.

On Thursday, his Slovenian in-laws, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, became United States citizens in a private ceremony in Manhattan by taking advantage of that same family-based immigration program.

Asked if the Knavses had obtained citizenship through “chain migration,” their lawyer, Michael Wildes, said, “I suppose.” He said chain migration is a “dirtier” way of characterizing what he called “a bedrock of our immigration process when it comes to family reunification.”

Melania Trump had sponsored her parents for their green cards, Mr. Wildes said in describing the process by which the Knavses had become United States citizens. “Once they had the green card, they then applied for citizenship when they were eligible,” he said.

 

“. . . and Mexico will pay for it!!” Sure thing, asshole, sure thing.

President Trump, who for three years has vowed to build a massive security wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, is running into his own wall on illegal immigration, which has continued to surge in recent months despite family separations and other hard-edge policies aimed at curbing the flow.

Nearly 19 months into his presidency — and three months ahead of pivotal midterm elections — the envisioned $25 billion border wall remains unfunded by lawmakers. Deportations are lagging behind peak rates under President Barack Obama, while illegal border crossings, which plummeted early in Trump’s tenure, have spiked.

And government data released Wednesday showed that the number of migrant families taken into custody along the southern border remained nearly unchanged from June to July — an indication that the Trump administration’s move to separate thousands of parents and children did little to deter others from attempting the journey.

More than 9,200 family members entered the country illegally in July, a number on par with the past several months, according to the data. In all, more families with children have arrived in the first 10 months of fiscal 2018 than during any year under Obama.

Supporters of Trump’s hard-line stance credit him with executive actions that have tightened border controls, including curbs on legal immigration through a travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries and a reduction in the number of refugees admitted to the United States.

But the supporters acknowledged that his strategy has not delivered the kind of sweeping enforcement victories that he promised voters with bumper-sticker-worthy slogans in 2016.

President Trump seemingly can’t stop talking about immigration. But many of his most frequent claims are wrong.

“The administration has done a lot to secure the border and tighten up a variety of areas, but these are things that are way more in the weeds,” said R.J. Hauman, government relations director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates for lower immigration levels. “They aren’t exactly sexy things like building the wall.”

At three campaign rallies last week, in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, Trump boasted about job growth, his Supreme Court nominees, the GOP tax cuts and North Korea. Immigration was not on his list of accomplishments.

Instead, Trump blasted Congress for blocking his border wall and accused Democrats of wanting to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an effort to shift the debate to a proposal suggested by only a handful of Democrats.

A senior administration official said the president’s aim was to make clear that the best way to speed up progress is to elect Republicans who will be willing to close “loopholes” in immigration laws that prevent federal agencies from more quickly deporting immigrants.

A father and his 3-year-old son are detained in the back of a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol vehicle July 18 in San Luis, Ariz. (Matt York/AP)

The administration’s efforts are “preventing what otherwise would be a tidal surge of illegal immigration,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak on the record and requested anonymity. “Every single person we talked to at the operational level will tell you that the number one reason for the increase in family units is the legal inability to deliver predictable immigration consequences because of congressional loopholes.”

Trump’s tenure has been marked by efforts to paint many of the nation’s estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants as criminals and public safety threats and to send a strong message to dissuade foreigners from entering the country illegally.

Administration officials said the policies need time to ripen and emphasized they are still developing new tactics, including increased workplace raids. But critics said the past 19 months have exposed the limits of Trump’s strategy of trying to make up for finite federal resources by creating a climate of fear that persuades immigrants to stay away or leave the country voluntarily.

“The fact that people are coming in higher numbers shows his immigration strategy isn’t working,” said Simon Rosenberg, executive director of NDN, a liberal think tank. “We do not see any obvious manifestation of self-deportation happening here.”

After Trump assumed office in January 2017, illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border plummeted to the lowest levels in 45 years.

The decline was attributed largely to Trump’s promise of a wall and other enforcement measures, including an executive order in his first week to eliminate Obama-era guidelines that focused enforcement resources on violent criminals.

But the rates began to spike again in the fall.

Trump’s early success “was based on promises there were going to be consequences for crossing the border illegally,” said Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, who supports Trump’s push for a wall.

Instead, Judd said, the smuggling cartels “probed us to find out if we actually were going to follow through with the president’s promises. It didn’t happen. So now illegal immigration is right back up to the Obama era.”

The data released Wednesday by the Department of Homeland Security showed U.S. agents took 39,953 migrants into custody along the border in July, down from 42,838 in June. Those figures were much lower than the arrest numbers in March, April and May — a spike that left Trump fuming at Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and led to the “zero tolerance” policy that included family separations.

Illegal migration along the Mexico border typically increases in spring before falling again during the summer, when temperatures peak.

Opponents of the wall have argued it would do little to curb what are historically modest levels of illegal immigration. The number of illegal border crossings over the past decade has averaged about one-third of the peak rates of the 1990s, after which Congress devoted significantly more resources to enforcement operations.

Trump had a chance to secure $25 billion for the wall during budget negotiations with Democrats in the spring. But he refused to strike a deal that did not include deep cuts to legal immigration programs, which Democrats opposed.

“We’re going to get the wall passed — don’t worry about that,” Trump assured supporters last week in central Ohio. “The Democrats are obstructionist . . . ‘Let’s not build a wall.’ They are haters.”

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, said Trump’s “shock and awe” mentality has butted up against the “trench warfare” realities of the immigration system.

The Senate voted down four immigration bills, including one backed by Trump, in the spring. Federal courts blocked Trump’s bid to end Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which provided deportation relief to more than 700,000 immigrants. And “sanctuary” cities in liberal enclaves have sought to enact limits on his enforcement efforts, such as barring the use of local resources to cooperate with federal operations.

Trump’s “accomplishments are more granular,” said Krikorian, whose group favors stricter policies. “A lot of that is important, but it’s not campaign-rally material.”

Trump has continued to prime his base with tough rhetoric. Last week, he threatened to shut down the government in the fall to secure wall funding, even as Republican leaders in Congress warned it would hurt GOP candidates.

Some suggested Trump’s recent actions reflect an increasingly desperate president lashing out over the failures on his signature issue — and predict he could become more willing to take extreme measures to demonstrate progress.

In April, the president ordered National Guard troops to assist at the border. And in June, Trump tweeted that he favored a system that would strip unauthorized immigrants of due process rights — two weeks after Attorney General Jeff Sessions said domestic-abuse and gang-violence victims would no longer qualify for asylum.

“When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came,” Trump wrote.

John Sandweg, who served as acting ICE director in Obama’s second term, said Trump’s frustration has exposed the fallacy of his logic.

“He talked on the campaign trail as if Obama was just making a choice and was somehow reluctant to enforce immigration law,” Sandweg said. “Trump promised to unleash this massive enforcement apparatus, as if someone was pulling on the reins. But that’s just how the system works.”