Plead the 25th: Trump Disgorges an Insane Tweetstorm About an Imaginary Michael Cohen Book

Like Clockwork. Whenever Donald Trump is the most fearful about his snowballing legal peril, he lashes out from his Twitter throne with the most deranged and groundless spasms of utter nonsense he can contrive given his obviously advanced mental infirmity. And on Friday morning he didn’t disappoint. The fury that he unleashed only affirms just how recent events have driven him to near incapacitation.

Donald Trump

Trump just returned from Vietnam where he engineered an historic failure to achieve any of the progress that he promised prior to his meeting with his girlfriend (“We fell in love”), Kim Jong Un. As Jimmy Kimmel put it, “Trump literally got more done in his summit with Kim Kardashian.” And while Trump was embarrassing America abroad, his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was dishing on him in a hearing before the House Oversight Committee. His testimony was so damaging that even the senior judicial analyst at Fox News recognized that Trump could be liable for as many as four felonies.

It’s at times like these that Trump totally freaks out and decides to go public with his delusions and make things even worse. The following tweets are some of the best arguments that Trump is suffering from senile dementia and needs to be evaluated for a possible invocation of the 25th Amendment. He starts off with this pile of blathering falsehoods:

First of all, nothing about this was either “new” or “just released.” In fact, the Daily Beast reported on a proposal for a book by Cohen last May. It was tentatively titled “Trump Revolution: From The Tower to The White House, Understanding Donald J. Trump.” But it was scrapped due to his legal problems that were beginning to spin out of control. Also, why is Trump always so obsessed with people writing him “love letters,” ala Kim Jong Un? And then Trump tweets that:

Congress cannot demand something that doesn’t exist. There was never a book published or even submitted to the publisher. So it’s impossible to figure out what Trump is referring to that is so head spinning. But it shouldn’t surprise anyone if the pitch for the book featured a vastly different characterization of Trump than the one that Cohen is presenting now. A year ago he was still shilling for the President and telling what he now concedes were lies. The difference between his statements then and now is that now he’s making them under oath. Nevertheless, Trump continues:

No – It’s clear that Trump does not see. The case for his conspiracy with Russia is stronger than ever. And there is still no evidence of any wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton, even after thousands of hours of investigations by a Republican congress. If there were, Trump’s Justice Department would have brought indictments. What’s more, the only reason Trump’s finances are being scrutinized is that there is so much evidence of criminal activity. If this is a “Witch Hunt” then it’s already found a vast coven of witches. And finally:

How does Trump know what Cohen’s book manuscript shows? Does he have a copy? Why doesn’t he just release that to the public? Perhaps because it doesn’t exist. Even the prospective publisher said that he never received a manuscript. And Trump shouldn’t be portraying others as lying “on a scale not seen before,” considering the documentation of his lies since taking office that now exceed over 8,000. As for Lanny Davis (who is not Hillary Clinton’s lawyer), why does Trump care what he has to say? He is representing Cohen and will surely take positions that advance Cohen’s interest. And he’ll probably be more effective than Trump’s legal team headed by the always entertaining Rudy Giuliani.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

So Trump is once again displaying the signs of a man consumed by fear who has no idea how to respond to the numerous and legitimate allegations swirling around him. So he posts incoherent tirades on Twitter that are filled with lies and slander. And for some reason he thinks this will be helpful. Well, he’s kind of right. It will be very helpful to special counsel Robert Mueller and the prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.

Even Fox News Can’t Avoid How Badly the Trump Shutdown is Going Over with the American People

It’s day 24 of the Trump Shutdown, and no end is currently in sight. The ill effects of that are even being felt in the White House, where Donald Trump had to serve Big Macs and pizzas to the NCAA champion Clemson Tigers because much of the staff is furloughed. Trump says that he paid for the “feast,” but that really isn’t something to brag about. It’s a pretty lame “celebration” that’s catered by McDonalds.

Fox News Trump

In the meantime, millions of American families are struggling to make ends meet due to the furloughs of hundreds of thousands of federal workers. Who’s paying for their meals, or healthcare, or mortgages? The hardship that Trump has imposed on the nation is getting worse with each new day. And the American people know exactly who is at fault.

Despite Trump’s promise not to blame Democrats, he has been doing just that for the past couple of weeks. However, his broken promise isn’t being received well by the public. And even Fox News is unable to pretend that Trump’s shutdown strategy is working out very well. An article on the Fox website carries the headline “Trump doubles down on border wall, as polls show voters turning against his shutdown strategy.” And the article explains unambiguously how badly the polling on this issue is going for Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party:

“As the partial shutdown enters its fourth week and hundreds of thousands of federal workers miss their first paychecks, fresh polling suggests the president is losing the battle of public opinion.

“A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday found that 63 percent of voters agree with the Democratic proposal to reopen parts of the government that do not involve border security, with 30 percent opposed. The same poll found 63 percent also oppose using the shutdown to force wall funding, with just 32 percent supporting.

“The poll found that 56 percent of American voters blame Trump and Republicans in Congress for the partial shutdown, compared with 36 percent who say Democrats are responsible.

“An earlier Washington Post-ABC News poll also found more Americans blame Trump and the Republicans than the Democrats over the stalemate.”

This bad news is just a portion of what Trump is having to endure as this new year is barely getting started. Bloomberg reports that at least six polls show that America blames Trump for the shutdown and opposes his exploitation of it for a stupid vanity wall that nobody wants. Trump is also fielding questions about whether he is a Russian asset. If your president has to deny that he’s working for Russia, you need a new president. And it’s been discovered that he has been suppressing information about his private meetings with Vladimir Putin.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

If Trump isn’t a Russian asset, he’s doing an awfully good imitation of one. That’s a far bigger problem than his poor showing in polls about the shutdown. But the nation’s mood isn’t going to be particularly forgiving to a president who is generally despised while also being suspected of selling out his country. This is the kind of political environment that lends itself to impeachment. Hopefully.

What’s the Real Reason Trump Gave that Yawner from the Oval Office? (Hint: Think Russia)

On Tuesday night Donald Trump gave a much anticipated address from the Oval Office, his first as President. There was rampant speculation about what he might say. Some pundits wondered if he might take the opportunity to declare a national emergency in order to reallocate federal funds to his idiotic and useless vanity wall. Others just considered it a ploy to get the public to pressure Congress to pay his ransom for reopening the government.

Donald Trump, Subway

As it turns out the speech was a tiresome affair that featured Trump solemnly reciting from his TelePrompTer and sniffling as he has been known to do after snorting Adderall. There was nothing that could be called newsworthy. Trump offered no solutions to the shutdown impasse. He made no overtures to Democrats on border security legislation. There wasn’t anything different about this speech than what he’s been saying for the past three weeks on this subject. And of course, that means he was repeating the same old lies that he and his surrogates (including Surrogate-in-Chief Mike Pence) have been foisting on the public since the Trump Shutdown began.

So there was no reason for this speech to be carried live by the news networks. No news value would have been lost by delaying it for half an hour so that it could be fact checked – a practice that should be in effect for everything Trump says or does. What the speech did contain was Trump’s now tedious routine of fear mongering and blame shifting to Democrats.

He amped up the emotionally charged fears of violence allegedly committed by undocumented immigrants with examples that included murders, rapes, and even beheadings. Never mind that this immigrant population is far less likely to commit these or any crimes than are native born citizens. The purpose of this overtly racist argument, as employed by Trump and his shills on Fox News, is to demonize people who are largely peaceful and law abiding.

So why did Trump take the extraordinary step of demanding primetime television access to the nation in order to bore them with rote repetitions of his commonplace cult rally ravings? He must have known that there was nothing in his remarks that would change anyone’s mind. Nor would it move the needle on resolving the shutdown problem. The only thing that it would be certain to do is dominate the news cycle for a short period of time. And therein lies a clue to what might have been his true intention.

Absent this speech, the most prominent stories that came out the same day concerned the ongoing investigations into Trump’s collusion and conspiracy with Russia. One of those stories featured the chairman of his presidential campaign, Paul Manafort, who was found to have been sharing proprietary polling data with a suspected Russian intelligence operative. That information corresponds with the sort of data used by Russia to interfere with the election, and links Trump’s campaign to the Russian conspiracy more closely than ever before.

The other story concerned the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, who famously met with Manafort, Don Jr, Jared Kushner, and others, in Trump Tower. That was the meeting where they discussed acquiring “dirt” in the form of stolen emails from Hillary Clinton and her associates. Veselnitskaya was indicted yesterday for obstruction of justice in a case that revealed her close ties to the Kremlin.

Given the bombshell quality of these stories, it would have been a fortunate coincidence if something else arose that might distract the media and the public from focusing on them. Could Trump have been tipped off about these impending legal disclosures? Perhaps by Manafort or his lawyers who have already been discovered to have secretly briefed Trump’s legal team And might Trump have had an incentive to schedule a rare Oval Office address that was completely devoid of substance in order to execute that distraction? Can anyone supply another reason why the President would embarrass himself with that empty televised spectacle that was the oratorical equivalence of dropping his pants on the subway to draw attention away from a worse crime?

Who knows with this president? This might be a step too deep into conspiracy theory. But it is well within the bounds of plausibility for a president who is openly considering a declaration of a national emergency – which does not exist – just so he can build a wall that most Americans don’t want. It is not far-fetched for someone who lies with such ease about things as easily verifiable as whether past presidents told him that they should have built a wall; or that 4,000 suspected terrorists were caught crossing the southern border; or that Democrats request that Trump change his wall construction from concrete to steel.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

None of those things were true. And that tendency for flagrant falsification is what makes anything possible with this president. Including a plot to wave a shiny Oval Office speech in front of the press to get them to ignore the fact that he’s pantless. But fortunately, it doesn’t seem to have worked. The other stories are still being sell covered (less so on Fox News) and are likely to make headlines on Wednesday and beyond. So Trump embarrassed himself, and wasted the nation’s time, in vain. The only problem with that is that it might make him more likely to actually declare a national emergency, out of anger and/or vengeance, in order to distract from the failure of this distraction. Stay tuned.

Trump Blatantly Lies About Russian ‘Witch Hunt’ According to the Journalist He Misquoted

With each new day Donald Trump demonstrates evermore fear and desperation due to the mounting evidence of his collusion and conspiracy with Russia to undermine an American election. He behaves precisely the way one would expect a guilty man to behave, by distorting facts, distracting from the issues, and maligning his critics. It would be pathetic if it weren’t so troubling and dangerous.

Donald Trump

On Tuesday morning Trump went to new extremes to absolve himself of any liability for his felonious actions. In a series of frantic tweets, Trump presented what he said was a case for his innocence made by journalist Michael Isikoff, co-author with David Corn of Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump. Isikoff was interviewed by John Ziegler, however, Trump got his analysis of Isikoff’s remarks from Fox News, as usual. But what Trump tweeted (here, here, and here) was far removed from reality:

“Russia Dossier reporter now doubts dopey Christopher Steele’s claims! “When you get into the details of the Steele Dossier, the specific allegations, we have not seen the evidence to support them. There’s good grounds to think that some of the more sensational allegations…..”

“….WILL NEVER BE PROVEN AND ARE LIKELY FALSE.” Thank you to Michael Isikoff, Yahoo, for honesty. What this means is that the FISA WARRANTS and the whole Russian Witch Hunt is a Fraud and a Hoax which should be ended immediately. Also, it was paid for by Crooked Hillary & DNC!”

“Michael Isikoff was the first to report Dossier allegations and now seriously doubts the Dossier claims. The whole Russian Collusion thing was a HOAX, but who is going to restore the good name of so many people whose reputations have been destroyed?”

There is a whole lot of wrongness in there to unwrap, starting with Trump’s typically childish insult of Steele as “dopey.” More to the point. Trump falsely asserts that the FISA warrants are a fraud even though none of this addresses them. What’s more, the Steele dossier was not a primary source of evidence for granting the warrants. Also, Hillary Clinton didn’t pay for the dossier. Her campaign paid Fusion GPS to do research and they hired Steele.

So Trump is attempting to use Isikoff’s comments as absolution for his crimes. But Trump left out the most critical parts of the interview. Those omissions were pointed out by the interviewer, the interviewee, and his co-author. Isikoff had plenty to say about Trump’s adventures with Russia that the President failed to mention. For instance:

“In broad strokes, Christopher Steele was clearly onto something. That there was a major Kremlin effort to interfere with our elections. That they were trying to help Trump’s campaign. And that there were multiple contacts between various Russian figures close to the government and various people in the Trump campaign. That much, I think, has been established by the public records.”

And also that:

“The Trump campaign and its campaign operatives, Donald Trump Jr, Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, were active in ways that was clearly inappropriate and that they shouldn’t have done. And that they concealed this from the voters.

“And the Moscow Tower project going on in June of 2016, with direct conversations between Michael Cohen and an assistant to Dmitri Peskov, a press secretary to Vladimir Putin, was incredibly significant, concealed from the voters, and gives the lie to Donald Trump’s repeated statements during the campaign that he had nothing to do with Russia. That nobody connected to his campaign had any contacts with anybody in Russia.

“I mean, the President during the campaign, as a candidate, seriously mislead the American public about what was a very important issue. And that was the questions about what the Russians were up to and his own dealing with the Russians. So all of that is true.”

What more needs to be said? Isikoff clearly stated that Trump was deeply involved with Russian figures and that he lied about it repeatedly. But Trump ignored all of that and distorted Isikoff’s words to say the opposite, and ironically, thanked him for his honesty. That tells you all you need to know about Trump’s aversion to honesty and his determined intent to mislead and spread falsehoods at every opportunity. It’s in his nature, and we can expect it to continue until he is removed from office. Hopefully in handcuffs.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Saying ‘People Would Revolt’ if He is Impeached is Not His Opinion, It’s an Instruction

The walls are continuing to close in around Donald Trump. And they aren’t border walls. With the sentencing of his former associates, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, there is more information being released that unambiguously implicates Trump in federal crimes. And, as is his customary practice, the more he feels threatened, the more hysterical he gets. He is transparently consumed by fear and desperation.

Donald Trump Revolt

That response was in effect Tuesday when Trump was interviewed by Reuters. The whole interview was woven with lies and nonsense. But one particular part is worthy of notice. When Trump was questioned about talk that he could be impeached for crimes related to his campaign and and his unsavory connections to Russia, he blew up:

“It’s hard to impeach somebody who hasn’t done anything wrong and who’s created the greatest economy in the history of our country. “I’m not concerned, no. I think that the people would revolt if that happened.”

Let’s set aside – after laughing uncontrollably – the patently untrue assertions that Trump has done nothing wrong, or that he’s responsible for the “greatest economy” in history. What is stunning about his comments is his warning that there would be a revolt if he were held accountable for his criminal activities. In fact, this is less a warning than it is instructions to his cult followers. He expects them to resort to violence on his behalf in the event he is impeached by the representatives of the American people.

There are lots of reasons to consider Trump’s impeachment. He shelled out hundreds of thousands of dollars to his mistresses in order to keep them quiet before the 2016 election. He failed to disclose those expenditures. He has received millions more from foreign operatives funneling money to him through his hotels and other businesses. He and his closest associates have lied repeatedly about his conspiracy to steal the election with his Russian partners. So impeachment is not much of a stretch for such a flagrant law violator, and a bad one at that.

Even more troubling is the fact that this isn’t the first time Trump has threatened violence directed at his critics. Even during his campaign Trump threatened the outbreak of riots if he was denied the nomination. Almost daily he refers to the media in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” He has accused the press of “creating violence by your questions […] The fake news is creating violence.” He accused Democrats in Congress of treason for not applauding him at the State of the Union address. “Can we call that treason?” he said. “Why not? I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.” He suggested that the media also committed treason with its coverage of his summit with Kim Jong Un, saying that “It’s a shame the fake news covers it the way they do. It’s really, it’s almost treasonous, you want to know the truth.” Do you detect a pattern?

If you think that this sort of hostile rhetoric is petty trumpery (“worthless nonsense” according to Merriam-Webster), you might want to refer to the polling that shows that one-third of Trump voters say Democrats who didn’t applaud during the State of the Union were “treasonous.”

And you might also note Trump’s obsession with maligning his critics as anti-American. For instance, there was the time he responded to an op-ed in the New York Times by an anonymous White House staffer who called Trump “amoral,” “unstable,” “erratic,” “ill-informed,” and “reckless.” The author further worried that the President has “a preference for autocrats and dictators.” And that other staffers were “working diligently … from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.” In response to that article Trump blasted off four tweets attacking the Times, one of which contained a single word:

And that pretty much sums up the position of this wannabe dictator in the White House. He truly believes that any dissent is tantamount to treason, and the consequences of that is death. That’s the message that Trump is sending out to his glassy-eyed cult disciples. And this latest message raising the prospect of “revolt” is another escalation in his war against America, democracy, and freedom.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

American Pravda: Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Bill Shine, is Still on the Fox News Payroll

The bonds between Donald Trump and Fox News have been unmistakable from well before he even announced his candidacy for president. He had a regular weekly segment on Fox and Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” And as he transitioned from a reality TV host to an elected “leader,” Fox News grew even closer to him, performing the duties of a devoted propaganda outlet. Trump himself has inadvertently admitted that Fox is essentially an in-house media organ.

Fox News, Donald Trump

Those already close ties have just been revealed to be even tighter than previously thought. The Trump administration is full of former Foxies, including top White House aides like National Security Advisor John Bolton and Under Secretary of State, Heather Nauert. But no one is more representative of this media/politics marriage than Bill Shine, Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. Shine was previously the president of Fox News, a position he rose to after serving as Sean Hannity’s producer.

Now it has been revealed that Shine is actually being paid simultaneously by taxpayers and Fox News. The Hollywood Reporter got ahold of Shine’s financial disclosure forms which are required for White House service. In addition to their already having been amended several times, they contain this troubling information:

“Bill Shine received an $8.4 million severance package upon leaving his post as co-president of Fox News […] Shine, who officially began working in the White House on July 5, will also receive a bonus and options of about $3.5 million from 21st Century Fox both this year and next year.”

This is an unprecedented breach of the principle of independent media. To say that Fox News is “State TV” actually understates the gravity of this perverse relationship. Shine cannot be regarded as serving the public interest in his White House position if he’s still working for Fox News, the network that has become an extension of Trump’s PR machine. When Fox News defends Trump, or criticizes his opponents, it is impossible to separate that from the agenda of the White House. Even worse, Fox’s on-air shills actively promote Trump politically and give him (horrible) advice on presidential decisions.

It should not be permissible for a White House employee to be on the payroll of any other enterprise, especially one in the media. It presents an unambiguous conflict of interest. But that’s where Trump and Shine are right now.

The article in the Hollywood Reporter provides additional details about this arrangement. But what the article doesn’t say is that the reason Shine was terminated from Fox was that he covered up the sexual harassment and abuse of Fox bigwigs like CEO Roger Ailes and host Bill O’Reilly. That factoid makes it even more clear what binds Trump and Shine. In addition to their political affinities, they are both misogynistic perverts. It’s a marriage made in Hell, but the couple is honeymooning in the White House and the American people are paying for it – in more ways than one.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Holy $@!&: Are Fox News – and Melania – Taking Over National Security for the Trump Admin?

A pair of stories are burning up the wires this Tuesday afternoon. And they have nothing to do with the California fires or the still cresting Democratic “Blue Wave” that washed over the midterm elections. Nope. These stories have to do with the perpetual state of chaos in Donald Trump’s National Security operations.

Donald Trump, Melania Trump

First of all, it is being reported that Trump is expected to fire his secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, after less than a year on the job. But staff shake ups in and of themselves are not uncommon in the Trump administration. He’s already had far greater turnover than any other president.

What’s of interest here is who Trump is considering to replace Nielsen. And the top name being mentioned is the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Thomas Homan. He is a rabidly pro-Trump partisan who defends the administration’s horrific policy of separating migrant children from their parents. But the reason cited for Trump’s interest in Homan is that Trump likes his appearances on Fox News where he fiercely defends and praises the President. And that’s the most important criteria for a leader in protecting the United States from terrorists, isn’t it?

The other story making the rounds is that Trump is about to fire his deputy national security advisor, Mira Ricardel. She’s also a fierce Trump supporter, but lately she has gotten into trouble with the First Lady. And now Melania is asserting herself in these staffing decisions:

“The first lady’s office released a statement calling for Ricardel’s ouster as reports surfaced that President Donald Trump would fire the official, deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel.

“‘It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that (Ricardel) no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House,’ the first lady’s communications director Stephanie Grisham said in a statement on Tuesday.”

Some reports say that Melania’s problem with Ricardel stems from a seating scuffle on Air Force One. Ricardel, for the time being, reports to national security advisor John Bolton. But she has reportedly also raised the hackles of Trump’s chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly. Making matters even more confusing, Kelly has been an advocate of Nielsen, and her imminent departure might result in Kelly joining her in the White House exodus.

If all of this sounds like the melodrama whipped up by a reality TV show, well guess why. Donald Trump was an incompetent boor from the start and never had the experience to run an enterprise as large and complex as the White House. So he relies on his TV Shadow Cabinet (Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, etc.) to make decisions for him. That is, when he isn’t hiring people (Bolton, Heather Nauert, Bill Shine, etc.) directly from Fox News. And while this might be entertaining if it were a Hallmark Movie of the Week, it’s downright frightening when it’s real life.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The Vanishing Witch Hunt: Why Trump Has Been Scared Off of His Fetish with Mueller’s Russia Probe

For most of the past two years Donald Trump has been bellowing like a banshee stuck in a time loop that made him repeat the same tedious whining continuously: witch hunt, Witch Hunt, WITCH HUNT! It’s been a mantra that he hopes the recitation of which will cause his recurring nightmares of treason and prison to subside. But despite his commitment to constant verbal regurgitation of the phrase, he has not found any comfort or relief.

Donald Trump, Witch Hunt

Trump is a trembling wreck whose every public comment is drenched with the fear that consumes him. He is a non-stop fountain of complaints, criticisms, and most of all, whining (Although he also brags about being the “most fabulous whiner”). But there has been a curious change in his recent behavior.

Taking a look back at Trump’s Twitter feed reveals something that requires some explanation. Back in May, Trump tweeted twenty times about what calls the “Witch Hunt.” Of course, he’s referring to the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller of his unsavory connections to Russia, obstruction of justice, and other assorted crimes. Mueller has already found numerous “witches” who have been indicted, convicted, and/or pleaded guilty. Trump’s tweets continued in June with twenty-seven more. Then there were twenty in July and twenty-five August.

However, that was the end of the Witch Hunt Tweetstorming. In September Trump tweeted about the Witch Hunt only five times. And in October it was down to one single Witch Hunt tweet. And that one was more about his dissatisfaction with his own Justice Department than with Mueller’s Russia probe. What could have caused this frightened retreat from a refrain that he was singing so incessantly

Well, Politico is now reporting a possible cause of Trump’s backing off his Witch Hunt obsession. And it’s a blockbuster, if true. They are asserting that Mueller may have already subpoenaed Trump to appear before a Grand Jury:

“Since mid-August, [Mueller] may have been locked in proceedings with Trump and his lawyers over a grand jury subpoena – in secret litigation that could tell us by December whether the president will testify before Mueller’s grand jury.”

“We know that on August 16th (the day after Giuliani said he was almost finished with his memorandum, remember), a sealed grand jury case was initiated in the D.C. federal district court before Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell. We know that on September 19, Chief Judge Howell issued a ruling and 5 days later one of the parties appealed to the D.C. Circuit. And thanks to Politico’s reporting, we know that the special counsel’s office is involved (because the reporter overheard a conversation in the clerk’s office). We can further deduce that the special counsel prevailed in the district court below, and that the presumptive grand jury witness has frantically appealed that order and sought special treatment from the judges of the D.C. Circuit.”

The circumstances surrounding these events suggest that a particularly important witness is the subject of thest court proceedings. Whether or not it is Trump it’s too soon to confirm. But it is more than speculation. And the timing coincides with Trump’s reduced Witch Hunt tweeting. That would make sense because if negotiations like this were taking place, even Trump wouldn’t be stupid enough to foul it up with deranged outbursts on Twitter. Would he?

Plus there’s another peculiar affair that was reported on Tuesday. Some nefarious pro-Trump shills appear to be trying to smear Mueller with phony charges of sexual misconduct. But it’s blowing up in their faces. Note also that Trump’s attorneys, Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow, have been mysteriously out of the public eye. And if Giuliani isn’t shoving his way in front of a TV camera, something serious has to be going on.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Time will tell if this story pans out. And the period following the midterm election would be the perfect time for these legal disclosures to take place. Mueller, the consummate professional, would not have interfered with the election within the sixty days that is traditionally a quiet period for these sort of proceedings. But after the election he’s free to make whatever disclosures are appropriate. And that is probably what is giving Trump the frights this Halloween.

Stephen Colbert did a pretty good (and funny) summary of Wohl’s incompetent role in this:

An Alleged (and Smelly) Smear Campaign Against Robert Mueller is Burning Up the Internet

The StormTrumpers are on the march. Whenever Donald Trump is in trouble, there is a rapid response team of defenders who fan out across the InterTubes to either deny that there is anything untoward afoot, or to clumsily try to change the subject with unrelated and unfounded distractions.

Robert Mueller Trump

Something like that may be going on now as a bombshell story broke regarding special counsel Robert Mueller. Natasha Bertrand of the Atlantic published a story on Tuesday about an alleged scheme to tarnish the otherwise pristine reputation of Mueller with accusations of sexual harassment or assault. Bertrand’s article reported that:

“A company that appears to be run by a pro-Trump conspiracy theorist offered to pay women to make false claims against Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the days leading up to the midterm elections—and the special counsel’s office has asked the FBI to weigh in.”

The story has all the ingredients of a risque melodrama. It revolves around a woman who says that she was offered $20,000 to make a public accusation of sexual misconduct against Mueller. There was no truth to the charges. The woman, who identified herself as Lorraine Parsons, said that the offer came from a private intelligence firm called Surefire Intelligence. This firm has connections to a GOP activist named Jack Burkman and a notorious pro-Trump conspiracy theorist, Jacob Wohl. Wohl had already been hyping a “scandalous” Mueller story since Tuesday morning.

Bertrand’s article contains more details along with some provocative speculation. And there is more here from NBC. At this early stage of the story it’s impossible to ascertain whether there is any substance to it. But it shouldn’t surprise anyone if it turns out to be true. This is the sort of depravity that dirty tricksters like Wohl and Roger Stone and Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft engage in on a regular basis. And Burkman is well known for having led his own investigation of the deplorable and debunked conspiracy theory about the murder of Seth Rich.

While it would be prudent to wait for more information to develop before coming to any conclusions, there is one lesson that can be learned and applied for future targets of similar allegations. The first thing that Mueller did after being apprised of this affair was to refer it to the FBI and ask them to investigate it. That’s the behavior of an innocent man. Unlike that of now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh – and his protectors in Trump’s White House and the Republican Party – who all refused to cooperate with a comprehensive probe into the charges against him.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Presumably we will hear more about this as information becomes available. And the FBI’s report will also shed light on the matter, assuming it’s released to the public. In the meantime, it will be interesting to watch the right-wing conspirators twisting in the wind as they struggle to make excuses for the crimes that are being alleged and unveiled. Generally when they resort to this sort of underhanded activity, their nervous reactions tend to expose their eventual guilt. Keep the popcorn handy for this one.

Sexual Predator Donald Trump Whines that ‘It’s a Very Scary Time for Young Men in America’

There are a lot things to be scared of in the Era of Trump. His presidency has been marked by disastrous decisions involving international conflict, climate change, economic meltdown, electoral espionage, and the ever present collusion with Russia and other foreign enemies. But Donald Trump isn’t worried about any of that.

Donald Trump

What is keeping Trump awake these days is the possibility that some man might be accused of sexual harassment or assault. And he should know, considering there are at least sixteen credible allegations pending against him. Never mind that the percentage of false charges is in the low single digits. Trump made a point of yammering to the press that:

Of course, no one is presuming the guilt of anyone. Trump’s tantrum was thrown because his nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, now has three women asserting that he has engaged in sexual misconduct. And due to that it is men who ought to scared, not women. Those poor, beleaguered men of America. In fact, Trump is so upset by this that he was comfortable mocking Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a survivor of an alleged sexual assault by Kavanaugh, while his audience of Deplorables earned that nickname by cheering his mockery. Is this sort of presidential petulance supposed to make it easier for other victims to come forward?

Trump’s new found appreciation for due process should surprise people who have been paying attention for the past few years. Perhaps Trump will notify the Central Park Five that he now respects their civil rights. But don’t hold your breath. Trump has been crapping all over due process for years. Some recent examples of people that Trump has baselessly prejudged as guilty include (from his tweets):

The “man” who is now so distraught over ruining the lives of innocent people led an especially determined effort to convict Hillary Clinton despite the fact that she has been investigated for more than thirty years and never even been charged with an actual crime. But that didn’t stop Trump from attaching one of his infantile nicknames to her: Crooked Hillary.

However, if you are Republican, or Trump sycophant, any assertion of wrongdoing must only occur after conviction in a court of law. And even then only if you agree with the verdict. If you are Roy Moore or Rob Porter or Michael Flynn or Paul Manafort, you are pristine models of virtue no matter the strength of the evidence against you, or even if you confess and plead guilty.

The fact of the matter is that Trump is mostly afraid only for himself. And for good reason. Numerous women have come forward to accuse him of abhorrent, and perhaps illegal, behavior. He’s also being investigated for serious crimes against the country by special counsel Robert Mueller. The New York Attorney General is probing his corrupt foundation and other business entities. And most recently, Trump’s sleazy financial history has been exposed by a riveting story in the New York Times.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

So when you hear Trump complain that so and so isn’t being afforded his due process rights under the Constitution, just replace whatever name he used with his own and you’ll have a better idea of what he’s ranting about. He’s never cared about anyone but himself, and he will use whoever is handy in order to get what he wants. And if that means maligning assault victims and honoring their tormentors, that’s just the Trumpian way.