Is there ANYTHING Trump will not lie about?

President Trump in an interview published Thursday said he invented the phrase “priming the pump,” a common saying used in economics.

“Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just… I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do,” Trump said during an interview with editors for The Economist.

Here are the facts, according to Webster’s:

The phrase ‘priming the pump’ dates to the early 19th century.

Trump’s new website is typical Trump: Lies, bluster, me, me, me

Because Donald Trump’s team of crooks and pretenders does not know how to govern, Donald Trump’s team is relaunching his campaign website. Like the candidate himself, it is melodramatic, vapid, and stubby. Let us count the crimes:

The main page features a military soldier, in uniform, saluting Trump. We here in America generally try to avoid such images. Among other good reasons: Soldiers aren’t given a choice in whether they salute or not. For all we know, that poor Marine ran to the bathroom with dry heaves only moments after that photo was taken. For all we know, having to salute the guy who said he likes soldiers who don’t get captured qualifies for hazard pay.

The only major section of the main page not asking you to hand over your money is devoted to large-print versions of Donald Trump’s last four tweets. Because Donald Trump’s last four tweets were a temper tantrum against the Senate’s Russia investigation and against Sally Yates’ testimony, that’s what’s featured. You would think that the campaign website for a supposedly successful and put-together national leader would have something more important to convey than the man’s latest toilet-perched fit; you would be wrong.

A page devoted to Trump’s “First 100 Days: The Truth Mainstream Media Refuses To Tell.” Because everything that happens to Donald Trump, all the time, is because his cruel opponents The Media and Reality As We Know It are out to get him.

An “About” page that reads like it was written by a North Korean press shop. Donald J. Trump is the very definition of the American success story, we are told, in prose so grand that we imagine Trump must hire an orchestra to provide accompaniment every time he reads it to himself.

A shockingly sparse “News” page consisting of five items, three of them attacks on the press. America has already been made so great, you see, that corralling the out-of-control press consists of 60 percent of the remaining work to be done. They refused to air an ad calling themselves crooked; truly, such sins cannot stand. Also, the attacks on the press merit ALL-CAPS HEADLINES, whereas the Rebirth of Hope, Safety, And Opportunity does not. Which is odd, because you would think the rebirth of hope and safety would be sort of a big deal itself.

And so the man who will likely leave the presidency long before the next election has been given a site as small and petty as he is. Kudos; the site does a fine job of conveying the shallowness and mean-spirited paranoia of the man.

What the site does not adequately convey, however, is just how much of a petty piece of crap Donald J. Trump is.

 

Trump can hear the bloodhounds on his trail

Before FBI Director James Comey was fired, the FBI investigation of Russian involvement in the US election was heating up. According to multiple sources—though denied by the Department of Justice—Comey went to the assistant attorney general to request additional resources for the investigation on Monday. Later that day, Rod Rosenstein and Jefferson Sessions visited Trump to tell him Comey needed to be fired.

On Tuesday, federal prosecutors issued their first grand jury subpoenas based on the FBI investigation. Those subpoenas “represent the first sign of a significant escalation of activity in the FBI’s broader investigation,” according to CNN. That same day, Trump fired Comey.

However, according to the Wall Street Journal, the investigation was in an even higher gear than previously known—for a very, very good reason.

Mr. Comey started receiving daily instead of weekly updates on the investigation, beginning at least three weeks ago, according to people with knowledge of the matter and the progress of the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe. Mr. Comey was concerned by information showing possible evidence of collusion, according to these people.

Comey went to Rosenstein to ask for more resources, not because the investigation was going too slowly, but because the investigation was finding so much.

With his concerns mounting, Mr. Comey last week sought more resources to support the bureau’s investigation, which began last July. He requested additional personnel from Rod Rosenstein, who had been recently installed as the deputy attorney general, overseeing the FBI, people familiar with the discussions said.

And that’s when they fired him.

For everyone who was asking the question “Why now?” here’s your answer.

On Monday, Mr. Comey briefed lawmakers on his request to boost the investigation, people familiar with the discussions said. The lawmakers, who have been running their own probe of alleged meddling in the U.S. election by Russia, and possible Trump campaign links with it, asked Mr. Comey if he could accelerate the FBI investigation, said a person with knowledge of the conversations.

Senator Richard Burr, one of the few Republicans who issued a statement of concern about Comey’s firing, was getting daily updates in that last week. And while the Trump White House continues to insist that there is “no evidence of collusion,” it seems that the investigation stands on the brink of producing exactly that evidence.

To date, the inquiry has produced no “smoking gun,” these people said, but some investigators are persuaded that the evidence will show more than just casual contacts. One area of particular interest for the committee is Mr. Trump’s business dealings. The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked for information from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, a division of the Treasury Department.

Donald Trump might dodge an investigation into Michael Flynn. He might not be harmed by a take down of Carter Page.

But if the FBI seriously looks into Baywater and Trump’s financial deals with Russian oligarchs … there’s potential for an investigation that cripples, if not ends, his time in office.

Trump invited the Russian Foreign Minister to the Oval Office because Putin asked him to

According to a recent POLITICO article about President Donald Trump’s strange meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russia’s U.S. Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Trump held the meeting in the Oval Office at the behest of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“He chose to receive him because Putin asked him to,” an anonymous White House source told POLITICO. “Putin did specifically ask on the call when they last talked.”

No comment.  None needed.

Warning to Trump: Do not mess with the people who hold the secrets or who make arrests

A new Washington Post article offers an intimate look into the immediate before and after of President Donald Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey, and many of the revelations from the 30-odd officials within the White House and intelligence communities who spoke on conditions of anonymity are explosive.

According to one anonymous intelligence official, Trump “essentially declared war on a lot of people at the FBI. I think there will be a concerted effort to respond over time in kind.”

Another anecdote from the in-depth report shows a White House aide responding to a reporter asking for a scoop shortly after news broke that Comey had been fired with two fireworks emojis, and nothing else.

The report alleges that Trump’s decision to fire Comey had been a long time coming, and that he had become increasingly “angry” and “frustrated” as the erstwhile FBI director chose to plow on with investigations into the Russia election-meddling probe while ignoring issues that concerned the president greater, such as his still-baseless claim that President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower or White House leaks to the press.

Along with making the bombshell allegation that Trump directed Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to write letters to legitimize firing Comey, the article also recounts the questions known details raise, such as why Sessions consulted on firing the FBI director overseeing a case he’d recused himself from.

 It also raised another, perhaps more serious, question: “Why had Trump discussed the Russia probe with the FBI director three times, as he claimed in his letter dismissing Comey, which could have been a violation of Justice Department policies that ongoing investigations generally are not to be discussed with White House officials?”
So — Trump has essentially declared war on the FBI.  Not a smart move.  DO NOT fuck with the people who hold the secrets or with people who can get arrest warrants.

Trump’s White House spins a web of lies, none of them are convincing, especially when delivered by Sarah Hickabee

It feels to me like the White House is losing control of this story.  Check out what White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in today’s presser. She said a lot that was all over the place. But I want to focus on her giving three overlapping and contradictory explanations for why the President fired James Comey.

The first was a version of the story from yesterday: the DOJ leadership told him to. According to Sanders, Rod Rosenstein visited the White House Monday and told the President that he believed Comey should be fired. The President, in essence, asked for it in writing. He received the letters Tuesday and promptly acted on the advice and fired Comey.

She also said that the President has been thinking about firing Comey since he entered office and has slowly lost confidence in his leadership of the FBI. I thought I heard her say that he’s thought about firing Comey every day since he was inaugurated. But I couldn’t find that in the transcript. If she did say it, it would be one of the few statements I find credible.

Sanders also said that the President was particularly troubled by Comey’s testimony last Wednesday in which he described and justified his decisions to make public pronouncements about the Clinton emails probe. He was apparently disturbed that Comey disregarded the DOJ chain of command. This was just one more thing, in Sanders’ telling, that sapped Trump’s confidence. It may even have been something like the final straw. In one of several references to Comey’s Wednesday testimony Sanders said …

I think the biggest catalyst was last Wednesday. Director Comey made a startling revelation that he had taken a stick of dynamite and thrown it into the Department of Justice by going around the chain of command when he decided to take steps without talking to the Attorney General or the Deputy Attorney General when holding a press conference and telling them he would not let them know what he was going to say.

(Let’s note that nothing about this part of Comey’s explanation was new.)

These explanations are not entirely contradictory. Trump could have slowly lost confidence in Comey, felt it was the final straw when he saw Wednesday’s testimony and then been receptive when the Deputy Attorney met with him soon after and advised him to fire Comey. Set aside for the moment that it is facially absurd that the President fired Comey for being unfair to Hillary Clinton. Even on its own terms these overlapping explanations have the look and feel of a collage – every conceivably plausible theory pasted together to create what we might call credibility through bulk rather than an organic reality or coherent explanation that might actually be true.

We’re back to the starting point. There’s no credible reason to believe that Comey wasn’t fired because of the Russia probe. It’s so obvious as to almost defy the need for explanation or restatement. With just slightly less certainty I think we can say that the only reasonable explanation for why Trump would take this step is that he knows or at least seriously fears there’s profoundly damaging information the investigation will unearth.

The situation is similar to what unfolded with the wiretapping claim. The President does something or says something that must be justified and explained. A reality and a backstory is then created in which it can make sense. In Monday’s Yates testimony I was struck by the fact that even now the great majority of questions from the Republican senators were ultimately rooted in the President’s wiretapping claims. Yes, they’ve been prettied up with the addition of ‘unmasking’. But they all stem from the same efforts to fashion some reality out of the President’s claims that President Obama had him wiretapped.

The problem is that the President acts like an impulsive child, with very little forethought to most of his actions. He routinely does or says things that are either facially absurd or deeply incriminating. It’s hard to make those claims and actions make sense or seem like anything but what they are.

Former CIA official says Trump was stupid to allow Russians to photograph the Oval Office

A tweet thread by former Deputy Director of the CIA David S. Cohen reveals the former intelligence official’s thoughts on news that Russian ambassadors met in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump.

The first tweet was written by former national security advisor Colin Kahl, which begged the “deadly serious” question of whether it was “a good idea to let a Russian gov photographer & all their equipment into the Oval Office?”

Former Dep. Director Cohen responded, on Twitter: “no, it was not.”

In subsequent tweets, Kahl went on to say that when he worked for Barack Obama’s administration, he “couldn’t let foreign delegations bring phones/cameras” into his own office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, and that he had to leave his own phone and camera outside the Oval Office when he worked there.

“Apparently,” Kahl wrote, “that doesn’t apply to Russ Gov in this WH”.

White House lawyers have repeatedly told Trump to stay away from Flynn . . . does he listen?? Of course not.

White House lawyers have repeatedly had to warn Donald Trump against contacting former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, the Daily Beast reports.

According to the Daily Beast, the president has, on multiple occasions, asked the White House counsel if he could reach out to Flynn amid growing scrutiny of Trump’s relationship to his former National Security adviser.

“While the president does not regret firing Gen. Flynn, he feels he is a good man who served his country bravely and honorably and who is being treated unfairly by the press and the Democrats on Capitol Hill,” a White House official said.

“The last thing they would want is an allegation of conspiracy, witness tampering or coordination,” National security attorney Mark Zaid told the Daily Beast. “If Flynn is going to be indicted, or certainly under investigation, then I would want the president to be as far away from him as possible.”