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.

Guess what? Trump’s still profiting from his businesses.

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Remember when Trump said he was going to isolate himself from his businesses to avoid conflicts of interest?

You didn’t actually believe him, did you?

ProPublica has found that changes to Trump’s trust documents allow him to draw money from his business anytime he wants. They report:

Trump can draw money from his more than 400 businesses, at any time, without disclosing it.

The previously unreported changes to a trust document, signed on Feb. 10, stipulates that it “shall distribute net income or principal to Donald J. Trump at his request” or whenever his son and longtime attorney “deem appropriate.” That can include everything from profits to the underlying assets, such as the businesses themselves.

Essentially, Trump is attempting to stay with his business even while in presidency. He will still benefit from its profits and any “separation” from his business he has set up is pure illusion. As the article explains, “The surest way to see what profits Trump is taking would be the release of his tax returns — which hasn’t happened. Income has to be reported to the IRS, whether it comes from a trust or someplace else.”

Trump has claimed that it was simply “smart business” to take advantage of the tax code as reflected in his 1995 returns. Okay, fine. But this deal is just shady. This attempt to hide his money just shows that Trump isn’t throwing himself wholeheartedly into the duty of being president. Trump’s never truly been about “making America great again,” whatever that means. He’s all about the Benjamins.

And with that, here’s a song for the rest of us, the Killing Joke classic “Money Is Not Our God”:

“Weird shit” in the White House

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George W. Bush’s assessment of Trump’s inauguration: “That was some weird shit.”

Succinct, accurate and hilarious. But the inauguration was nothing compared to what’s happened after the inauguration.

Michael Flynn wants immunity.

What is this, an episode of “24?” Seems like in every season of “24” someone wants immunity from prosecution in exchange for info (and there’s always an inside man or woman). Anyway, the shady former national security advisor for Trump wants immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony regarding the investigation into Trump’s connection with Russia. Kinda funny considering both his and Trump’s attitudes toward those who requested immunity during last year’s elections. Lots of people are wondering why Flynn made this request. What does he know?  Anyway, so far his request for immunity has been rejected by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

And, by the way, White House financial disclosures are out and Flynn failed to report income from Russian firms. To paraphrase Flynn himself, “LOCK HIM UP!”

That’s some weird shit, right there.

In some more weird shit: “piece-of-ass” presidential daughter Ivanka Trump,

whom her father recently installed into the White House without an official position will now join hubby Jared Kushner as an official federal employee. They are giving her some kind of bullshit title of “adviser” or something, but it’s not like she has any experience with government or policy, which is about par with most of Trump’s staff.

One thing that has been pointed out, though, is now that she is a federal employee she is subject to ethics regulations.

We’ll see how this plays out. She, her husband and her dad are rife with conflicts of interest, but so far they’ve just given us the middle finger on that matter. “Fuck you. We’re rich.”

Weird shit indeed.

Again, Trump abuses his Presidential status with anti-Nordstrom tweet

Again, Donald Trump is abusing his status as POTUS to influence business to benefit the family business. The department store Nordstrom’s made the decision to drop daughter Ivanka Trump’s clothing line from their stores, leading Trump to tweet:

My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!

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This is a lot like bigmouth Trump’s tweet regarding LL Bean before, except worse since Ivanka is his daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner— Trump’s son-in-law — is one of his White House advisors. Altogether a gross ethics violation.  To make things worse, the tweet was even retweeted by the @POTUS account.

“If he was any other government employee, this would be illegal,” said Larry Noble, the general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan organization of election law experts.

At this point, I don’t think anyone is surprised by Trump’s actions. The question is: are we going to let him get away with it? Not calling him out on these things sets dangerous precedents for future administrations. Donald Trump is not special. He’s a President of the United States of America, like forty-four others before him. The rules applied to them; they apply to Trump also. Don’t let it slide.