Trump ends his dumb suspense building by saying he has no tapes

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Tapes? What tapes? I don’t have any tapes? You have tapes? I have no idea about any “tapes.”

After weeks of being noncommittal regarding the existence of secret recordings of Trump’s conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey, Donald Trump finally admits that he has no “tapes.” He tweeted today, in two sequential tweets:

With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea…

…whether there are “tapes” or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.”

–@realDonaldTrump, 22 Jun 2017

Sooo…okay. That’s it? To be fair, Trump never actually said that he had “tapes”; he tweeted on May 12 that Comey “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” which, ironically, was the impetus for Comey to “leak” to the press.

Unlike most of Trump’s other, unfiltered tweets, this one was reviewed by his legal counsel before it was posted. You can kind of get a sense of that if you notice all the qualifications in the tweet:

With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea…whether there are “tapes” or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, which I take to mean, there might actually be recordings.

and

I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings, and you should mentally add but maybe someone else made tapes and still has them.

At this point, I don’t really think there are recordings, but Trump’s tweet, when you get around the legal acrobatics, sort of leaves it open that there might be. It’s a dumb non-statement statement and I guess is good enough to put an end to what the New York Times called “one of the capital’s least suspenseful mysteries.”

If recordings do exist, they likely are more damaging to Trump than to Comey. If you’ll remember, Comey said that during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee that he hoped that there were recordings because it would corroborate his testimony. So the existence of recordings would not be a good thing for Trump.

But Trump has worked himself into a legal catch-22 here because if there really aren’t any recordings, and it appears there may not be, that would mean that Trump was bluffing. And why bluff? It’s an intimidation tactic. Trump biographer Tim O’Brien, whom Trump tried to sue over his book TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald, has expressed that Trump had tried to use this tactic against him and had to admit, under oath, that he actually had not been taping conversations with O’Brien. This is bad for Trump because if Trump indeed has no recordings of conversations with Comey it gives the appearance that Trump was intentionally trying to intimidate Comey. Otherwise why would Trump even mention that Comey “better hope that there are no ‘tapes'” out there? I think we are getting very close to obstruction of justice charges here.

As for why it took so long for Trump to spill the beans on whether recordings exist, I’m betting the White House was spending the past few weeks in what-the-fuck-do-we-do-now mode. But I’m still not quite convinced that there aren’t recordings.

I’m not sure exactly what I’m embarrassed about more: the fact that our President and the White House are so crooked, or the fact that they’re so bad at it.

Trump, Russia, organized crime and Jean Claude Van Damme

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Donald Trump in 1997, with palm trees up his ass.

Trump keeps trying to minimize his interests in Russia but it’s apparent that Trump and Russia have had mutual interests for a very long time. Bloomberg has a very interesting article by Timothy L. O’Brien titled “Trump, Russia and a Shadowy Business Partnership” in which “An insider describes the Bayrock Group, its links to the Trump family and its mysterious access to funds. It isn’t pretty.”

But Trump and Russia go waaaay back, evident by this profile of Trump I came across by Mark Singer of The New Yorker from 1997 titled “Trump Solo.” It’s worth a read to get inside Trump’s mind a bit (like the part where he made his son Eric fast-forward through a VHS tape of the Jean Claude Van Damme film Bloodsport to get to the fight scenes), but Trump’s interests in Russia, even twenty years ago, are mentioned. I will quote at length.

A Russian artist, a Christopher Columbus statue and $40 million:

Back at the office, a Times reporter, Michael Gordon, was on the line, calling from Moscow. Gordon had just interviewed a Russian artist named Zurab Tsereteli, a man with a sense of grandiosity familiar to Trump. Was it true, Gordon asked, that Tsereteli and Trump had discussed erecting on the Hudson River a statue of Christopher Columbus that was six feet taller than the Statue of Liberty?

“Yes, it’s already been made, from what I understand,” said Trump, who had met Tsereteli a couple of months earlier, in Moscow. “It’s got forty million dollars’ worth of bronze in it, and Zurab would like it to be at my West Side Yards development”—a seventy-five-acre tract called Riverside South—“and we are working toward that end.”

According to Trump, the head had arrived in America, the rest of the body was still in Moscow, and the whole thing was being donated by the Russian government. “The mayor of Moscow has written a letter to Rudy Giuliani stating that they would like to make a gift of this great work by Zurab. It would be my honor if we could work it out with the City of New York. I am absolutely favorably disposed toward it. Zurab is a very unusual guy. This man is major and legit.”

Trump hung up and said to me, “See what I do? All this bullshit. Know what? After shaking five thousand hands, I think I’ll go wash mine.”

And another excerpt regarding a conversation with a former Russian army general about boxing and a potential real estate deal in Moscow:

When a call came a while back from Aleksandr Ivanovich Lebed, the retired general, amateur boxer, and restless pretender to the Presidency of Russia, explaining that he was headed to New York and wanted to arrange a meeting, Trump was pleased but not surprised. The list of superpower leaders and geopolitical strategists with whom Trump has engaged in frank and fruitful exchanges of viewpoints includes Mikhail Gorbachev, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, former Secretary of Defense William Perry, and the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff. (He’s also pals with Sylvester Stallone and Clint Eastwood, men’s men who enjoy international reputations for racking up massive body counts.) In 1987, fresh from his grandest public-relations coup—repairing in three and a half months, under budget and for no fee, the Wollman skating rink, in Central Park, a job that the city of New York had spent six years and twelve million dollars bungling—Trump contemplated how, in a larger sphere, he could advertise himself as a doer and dealmaker. One stunt involved orchestrating an “invitation” from the federal government to examine the Williamsburg Bridge, which was falling apart. Trump had no real interest in the job, but by putting on a hard hat and taking a stroll on the bridge for the cameras he stoked the fantasy that he could rebuild the city’s entire infrastructure. From there it was only a short leap to saving the planet. What if, say, a troublemaker like Muammar Qaddafi got his hands on a nuclear arsenal? Well, Trump declared, he stood ready to work with the leaders of the then Soviet Union to coördinate a formula for coping with Armageddon-minded lunatics.

The clear purpose of Lebed’s trip to America, an unofficial visit that coincided with the second Clinton Inaugural, was to add some reassuring human texture to his image as a plainspoken tough guy. Simultaneously, his domestic political prospects could be enhanced if voters back home got the message that Western capitalists felt comfortable with him. Somewhere in Lebed’s calculations was the understanding that, to the nouveau entrepreneurs of the freebooter’s paradise that is now Russia, Trump looked and smelled like very old money.

Their rendezvous was scheduled for midmorning. Having enlisted as an interpreter Inga Bogutska, a receptionist whose father, by coincidence, was a Russian general, Trump decided to greet his visitor in the lobby. When it turned out that Lebed, en route from an audience with a group of Times editors and reporters, was running late, Trump occupied himself by practicing his golf swing and surveying the female pedestrians in the atrium. Finally, Lebed arrived, a middle-aged but ageless fellow with a weathered, fleshy face and hooded eyes, wearing a gray business suit and an impassive expression. After posing for a Times photographer, they rode an elevator to the twenty-sixth floor, and along the way Trump asked, “So, how is everything in New York?”

“Well, it’s hard to give an assessment, but I think it is brilliant,” Lebed replied. He had a deep, bullfroggy voice, and his entourage of a half-dozen men included an interpreter, who rendered Inga Bogutska superfluous.

“Yes, it’s been doing very well,” Trump agreed. “New York is on a very strong up. And we’ve been reading a lot of great things about this gentleman and his country.”

Inside his office, Trump immediately began sharing with Lebed some of his treasured possessions. “This is a shoe that was given to me by Shaquille O’Neal,” he said. “Basketball. Shaquille O’Neal. Seven feet three inches, I guess. This is his sneaker, the actual sneaker. In fact, he gave this to me after a game.”

“I’ve always said,” Lebed sagely observed, “that after size 45, which I wear, then you start wearing trunks on your feet.”

“That’s true,” said Trump. He moved on to a replica of a Mike Tyson heavyweight-championship belt, followed by an Evander Holyfield glove. “He gave me this on my fiftieth birthday. And then he beat Tyson. I didn’t know who to root for. And then, again, here is Shaquille O’Neal’s shirt. Here, you might want to see this. This was part of an advertisement for Versace, the fashion designer. These are photographs of Madonna on the stairs at Mar-a-Lago, my house in Florida. And this photograph shows something that we just finished and are very proud of. It’s a big hotel called Trump International. And it’s been very successful. So we’ve had a lot of fun.”

Trump introduced Lebed to Howard Lorber, who had accompanied him a few months earlier on his journey to Moscow, where they looked at properties to which the Trump moniker might be appended. “Howard has major investments in Russia,” he told Lebed, but when Lorber itemized various ventures none seemed to ring a bell.

“See, they don’t know you,” Trump told Lorber. “With all that investment, they don’t know you. Trump they know.”

Some “poisonous people” at the Times, Lebed informed Trump, were “spreading some funny rumors that you are going to cram Moscow with casinos.”

Laughing, Trump said, “Is that right?”

“I told them that I know you build skyscrapers in New York. High-quality skyscrapers.”

“We are actually looking at something in Moscow right now, and it would be skyscrapers and hotels, not casinos. Only quality stuff. But thank you for defending me. I’ll soon be going again to Moscow. We’re looking at the Moskva Hotel. We’re also looking at the Rossiya. That’s a very big project; I think it’s the largest hotel in the world. And we’re working with the local government, the mayor of Moscow and the mayor’s people. So far, they’ve been very responsive.”

Lebed: “You must be a very confident person. You are building straight into the center.”

Trump: “I always go into the center.”

Lebed: “I hope I’m not offending by saying this, but I think you are a litmus testing paper. You are at the end of the edge. If Trump goes to Moscow, I think America will follow. So I consider these projects of yours to be very important. And I’d like to help you as best I can in putting your projects into life. I want to create a canal or riverbed for capital flow. I want to minimize the risks and get rid of situations where the entrepreneur has to try to hide his head between his shoulders. I told the New York Times I was talking to you because you are a professional—a high-level professional—and if you invest, you invest in real stuff. Serious, high-quality projects. And you deal with serious people. And I deem you to be a very serious person. That’s why I’m meeting you.”

Trump: “Well, that’s very nice. Thank you very much. I have something for you. This is a little token of my respect. I hope you like it. This is a book called ‘The Art of the Deal,’ which a lot of people have read. And if you read this book you’ll know the art of the deal better than I do.”

The conversation turned to Lebed’s lunch arrangements and travel logistics—“It’s very tiring to meet so many people,” he confessed—and the dialogue began to feel stilted, as if Trump’s limitations as a Kremlinologist had exhausted the potential topics. There was, however, one more subject he wanted to cover.

“Now, you were a boxer, right?” he said. “We have a lot of big matches at my hotels. We just had a match between Riddick Bowe and Andrew Golota, from Poland, who won the fight but was disqualified. He’s actually a great fighter if he can ever get through a match without being disqualified. And, to me, you look tougher than Andrew Golota.”

In response, Lebed pressed an index finger to his nose, or what was left of it, and flattened it against his face.

“You do look seriously tough,” Trump continued. “Were you an Olympic boxer?”

“No, I had a rather modest career.”

“Really? The newspapers said you had a great career.”

“At a certain point, my company leader put the question straight: either you do the sports or you do the military service. And I selected the military.”

“You made the right decision,” Trump agreed, as if putting to rest any notion he might have entertained about promoting a Lebed exhibition bout in Atlantic City.

Norma Foerderer came in with a camera to snap a few shots for the Trump archives and to congratulate the general for his fancy footwork in Chechnya. Phone numbers were exchanged, and Lebed, before departing, offered Trump a benediction: “You leave on the earth a very good trace for centuries. We’re all mortal, but the things you build will stay forever. You’ve already proven wrong the assertion that the higher the attic, the more trash there is.”

When Trump returned from escorting Lebed to the elevator, I asked him his impressions.

“First of all, you wouldn’t want to play nuclear weapons with this fucker,” he said. “Does he look as tough and cold as you’ve ever seen? This is not like your average real-estate guy who’s rough and mean. This guy’s beyond that. You see it in the eyes. This guy is a killer. How about when I asked, ‘Were you a boxer?’ Whoa—that nose is a piece of rubber. But me he liked. When we went out to the elevator, he was grabbing me, holding me, he felt very good. And he liked what I do. You know what? I think I did a good job for the country today.”

Sure, Trump has had interactions and dealings with people from a bunch of countries, but none, I think, have been so involved as his dealings with Russia, and it would be disingenuous to say otherwise.

Trump’s dumb tweet to China: Oh, well! Nice try!

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“Oh, well! At least you tried, China! Unlike Obama!”

Sometimes Trump just dumbfounds me. Trump tweeted today:

While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!

@realDonaldTrump, 6:38 PM – 20 Jun 2017

As in, “Oh, well! Thanks for trying, China! You win some, you lose some! At least you tried!”

Of course, Trump’s tweet begs the questions, what hasn’t worked out? and how do you know China tried?

Apparently, Trump administration officials are as confused as I am with one saying bluntly that they didn’t know what Trump was referencing when asked what the tweet meant, reports CNN.

So what does this tweet mean? Is he trying to portray a friendliness with China, or is he calling them losers for failing to “work out” a deal with North Korea? Whatever this deal was, why is he tweeting about it publicly, bypassing normal diplomatic protocols?

Trump is completely out of his depth when it comes to East Asia diplomacy, and this tweet shows that he has no clue how to conduct any sort of diplomacy. Unless he’s got some sort of so-crazy-it’s-gotta-work plan, conducting diplomacy through Twitter is sheer nonsense.

Despite Trump’s bluster, I don’t think Trump is taking North Korea seriously and careless tweets like this may undermine serious efforts by the State Department to deal with North Korea.

Trumps use Warmbier tragedy for political points in callous tweet

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Otto Warmbier, in better days

Otto Warmbier, an American student held prisoner in North Korea, died today. He recently was returned to the United States having been a captive in North Korea for 17 months and in a coma for the past year. He never recovered from his coma and died at the Cincinnati hospital where he had been receiving treatment. The White House issued the following statement:

June 19, 2017
Statement by President Donald J. Trump on the Passing of Otto Warmbier

Melania and I offer our deepest condolences to the family of Otto Warmbier on his untimely passing. There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Otto’s family and friends, and all who loved him.

Otto’s fate deepens my Administration’s determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency. The United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim.

It’s a heartbeaking outcome for an ordeal that had little hope of coming out well. North Korean officials state that Warmbier fell into a coma after “contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill” in March 2016. He returned to the US in a vegetative state after the US State Department negotiated his release. US doctors have not found any indication of botulism. I think it should be fairly obvious that Warmbier died as a result of mistreatment by the North Korean regime.

Understandably, Fred Warmbier, Otto’s father, was dissatisfied with the lack of results during the Obama administration with attempts to get his son returned. “The results speak for themselves,” Mr. Warmbier said when asked whether the Obama administration had done enough. He said President Trump had called him on Wednesday night and told him, “We worked hard, and I’m sorry this is the outcome.”

To be fair, negotiating with any autocratic regime like North Korea is extremely difficult. Warmbier was imprisoned in March 2016 and I think it would have been very unlikely that the Obama administration could have produced a result in the time it had left. Also, in his time as president thus far Donald Trump has shown very little understanding of East Asia politics, particularly in the North Korea problem. It’s my impression that much of the credit to Warmbier’s release goes to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has performed thus far beyond my admittedly low expectations of him. I’d also wager that Warmbier’s physical condition played a factor in North Korea’s decision to release him; they probably saw that he was declining and would rather have him die outside of North Korea.

But I won’t deny a man his grief, and his gratitude toward the Trump administration for getting their son back is entirely understandable. What the Warmbiers have endured is beyond anything I could imagine and is another reminder of the brutality of the North Korean regime. What I have a problem with is the callousness that the Trumps have shown by using this tragic injustice for political kudos.

On June 18 a tweet by Donald Trump Jr. that was subsequently retweeted by his father Donald Trump read:

Not surprising at all!
Father Of Otto Warmbier: Obama Admin Told Us To Keep Quiet, Trump Admin Brought Him Home
@DonaldJTrumpJr
9:29 AM – 18 Jun 2017

Screenshot from 2017-06-20 06-28-05.png

No “Welcome home, Otto,” or “we’re glad to have you back,” but Junior Trump goes straight into the sniping and the bragging. Otto Warmbier was in a bad way when he arrived in the US. He was brain-damaged and unresponsive. Donald Trump Jr. and Donald Trump by retweet did not express wishes for his recovery. Instead they criticize a former administration and brag about a dubious success.

“Not surprising at all!” indeed. For Donald Trump it always was all about “me.” His son has learned well. I’m not surprised at all that the human impact of the Warmbiers’ ordeal has completely gone over their heads as they focus on their favorite topic: Trump. The Trumps’ use of the Warmbiers’ tragedy for political bragging rights is repugnant.

I think Trump used his birthday wish to wish the “Russia thing” away.

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The birthday boy.

Donald Trump got two big presents for his 71st birthday: the notoriety that comes with having historically low approval ratings and an investigation into obstruction of justice. Isn’t that special? Not everyone gets to be the target of an investigation by a special counsel. Happy birthday! Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy.

Really, though, I think it was inevitable that Trump would come under investigation for something or other eventually. Might as well be obstruction of justice. And Jeff Sessions’ testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee didn’t help. It was a mess. Sessions appeared fidgety and nervous, and who would have thought that he had such a poor memory? The phrase “I don’t recall” popped up numerous times. And I find his excuse for not answering questions regarding his interactions with Trump ridiculous, claiming that it was “policy” (or maybe “principle,” he didn’t seem sure) to reserve a president’s executive privilege, even if that privilege has not yet been invoked(!). I think his testimony, though, was valuable for this reason. We can now just catalog all those questions he refused to answer and go after them.

But I have to say, not all of the senators were very good at questioning him. Some Republicans were laughably chummy and easy on Sessions, while some Democrats were unproductively combative. I did notice that Sessions had a particular tactic for dealing with his interrogators. It was particularly evident in his interaction with Sen. Kamala Harris (an interaction that also showed, by the way, the Republican bias in the Committee favoring Sessions). To Jeff Sessions a yes/no question requires babbling about anything that vaguely has to do with the topic of the question, including his thoughts and speculations at the time, irrelevant events leading up to the topic of the question and basically anything else he could say to use up the allotted five minutes each Senator had to ask questions, all in a slow, southern drawl. Sessions would have failed an audition for the old TV show Dragnet.

But really, I think Trump got the bestest most awesomest birthday ever. Happy birthday, you turd.

BTW, June 14 is also Flag Day, something that Trump wants you to remember coincides with his birthday and the birthday of the US Army, with is about the only thing that they share in common.

Geez, out with it already. Either there are tapes or there aren’t.

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It’s so freaking stupid. The President of the United States of America threatens former-FBI Director James Comey with the tweet,”James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” which is funny because this actually prompted a leak. So naturally, now everyone wants to know if there are tapes, to which Trump simply responds, “I’ll tell you about it over a very short period of time…You’re going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer, don’t worry.” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer then made a non-statement saying, “The President made clear in the Rose Garden last week he’ll have an announcement shortly,” and said that an announcement will be made “when the President’s ready to make it.” But why such deliberation?

The recordings (or “tapes,” as Trump called them) either exist or they do not. Some speculate that the reason, as Chris Cillizza of CNN writes, “Because everything Trump does is viewed as a performance. It’s always about leaving the audience wanting more, making sure they tune into the next episode.” But I think the only possible reason Trump would have to delay the answer to this simple question is that he hasn’t a clue on how to handle this situation. Whether or not the tapes exist, Trump comes out looking bad.

If the tapes exist, they likely corroborate Comey’s account of his interactions with Trump. Trump’s Twitter-threat was stupid because what would Comey have to be afraid of if the tapes were released? Obviously nothing. He testified that he hoped there were tapes (“lordy” he hopes!”). Trump’s threat was illogical, but I suspect that he didn’t realize that because he didn’t realize who he was dealing with. He probably thought the bully games and intimidation tactics of his real estate days would fly in Washington, and that was a rookie mistake. So, if the tapes exist, what to do with them? Keep them? Destroy them? Decisions, decisions…

If they tapes don’t exist, that makes Trump look like a chump. A cheap, empty threat from a weak, insecure man. This might be likely. Trump has used this tactic before. But he should have known that sooner or later there would be demands for the tapes.

There you go, two options and both require the Trump administration to lose their shit and make ridiculous excuses for delaying their answer to a very straightforward question. The tapes either exist or they don’t. Actually, however bad it would be for Trump if the tapes do exist, it might be better than if there were no tapes, because who’s going to believe him if he says there are none?

Trump lies like the animal that died on his head

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Trump Googling “How to destroy secret tapes.”

Like nearly 9 million other viewers, I saw James Comey’s public testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday morning. It was what I expected it would be, following Comey’s pre-released opening statements, but also included some surprises, like the fact that Comey asked a friend to release contents of memo Comey wrote detailing an interaction with Donald Trump with the hope that it would initiate a special counsel. That, I thought, was very smart and really showed Comey’s savvy.

I disagreed with Comey’s fight with Apple last year regarding the San Bernardino iPhone thing, and I thought Comey’s actions regarding the Hillary Clinton email investigation during the 2016 election year was puzzling, but I never doubted Comey’s integrity. Nor did I doubt Comey’s political neutrality, regarding either Clinton or Trump. All in all, I think he’s a good guy who is often placed in extremely difficult positions. I think many probably think this way of Comey.

Amazingly, Trump was silent on Twitter yesterday. I don’t know how he or his aides managed that, but he was true to form today, saying stupid stuff live and on Twitter. Following Comey’s testimony, Trump’s personal lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz (who, by the way, has clients with Kremlin ties, just sayin’), made the statement that Trump feels “totally vindicated” simply because Comey made the statement that Trump was not under investigation at that time (I’m betting he is now, though), but then basically called Comey a liar on the other stuff. Trump basically said the same today during a during a press conference today with Romania’s President Klaus Werner Iohannis.

In fact, when asked if he would be willing to give his version of events under oath, Mr Trump replied, “100 per cent.” This is interesting because he basically called Comey a liar (in matters that were derogatory to Trump); that is, he accused Comey of breaking the law, lying under oath. He said, “I didn’t say that,” regarding Comey’s statement that Trump asked for personal loyalty. So who is the liar, Comey or Trump? Who are you going to believe? In matters of integrity there is no contest. On the one hand, we have a well-respected former AG and former FBI Director. On the other we have…Trump. Check out his Four-Pinocchio ratings, in one place. Trump wasn’t under oath during the press conference; he can say whatever he wants. No one has any reason to believe him. Trump volunteering to speak under oath is just silly. He will sooner or later, like it or not. And chances are, if history is any indication, he won’t be very good at it.

Of course, a lot of this “he said/he said” could be resolved if “tapes” between Trump and Comey actually do exist. If you recall, Trump (in)famously Tweet-threatened Comey with the existence of “tapes.” Comey said in his testimony, “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.” Kind of makes Comey far more believable than Trump, if you ask me. The White House hasn’t been answering questions on whether or not tapes exist, and when asked about the existence of recordings at the press conference Trump said that he would reveal if there are any tapes “over a fairly short period of time,” and added, “Oh, you’re going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer, don’t worry.” Huh. So we’ll find out soon, like when Trump promised a revelation regarding Russian hacking and it never came? Or when he said he’d release his tax returns after his audit is complete, but then says “maybe” he’ll release them after he leaves office? Like that?

Anyway, how long does it take to simply answer the question, “Do recordings exist?” Does the White House not know? Of course they know. They either do or do not exist, and I’d bet, considering Trump’s practices in the past, that they do exist, and their reluctance to produce them is because they place Trump at a disadvantage. Maybe they’re just trying to decide whose fireplace to burn them in.

This is happening, folks. The Trump administration is past the point of no return. I don’t have a clue how it will all turn out, but I don’t think it’s going to be pretty for Trump. Whether or not the GOP has the balls to impeach one of their own is another matter to consider, but if they continue to support this train wreck then it makes them look pretty sad as well. Of course, as Philip Bump at the Washington Post points out, Trump may be telling the truth. I mean, it’s possible, right? But how likely is that? Trump lies. It’s what he does. But he won’t be able to hide behind them for long.